James Deane, John Shanahan, Jack Shanahan, Andrius Vasiliauskas and Mike Fitzgerald celebrating at Mondello Park in 2016. (Picture: Cian Leonard)

Five-time European Champion James Deane has driven to the top of the podium on his debut race on the world stage at the USA Formula Drift Championship at Long Beach California last Saturday.

The 25-year-old from Castletownroche knocked off former and reigning Formula Drift champions on his quest for the podium at the adrenaline-fuelled motor sports event.

In the finals, in front of a packed grandstand on turns 9 through 11 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach circuit, victory was Deane’s as he defeated Peruvian Alex Heilbrunn to win the international series season opener on the streets of Long Beach.

“I have never had dreams like this. This is insane,” James said.

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