The UAE’s top drifters will battle for top honours at the Red Bull Car Park Drift Championship.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
For the first time in five years the Red Bull Car Park Drift will return to the UAE capital to start a new season of the most renowned championship in its field.
The tournament will open its 2023 competition in Abu Dhabi on March 4, at Nation Towers at the Corniche, on a special track that, along with thousands of fans, will witness the crowning of the King of Drift who will represent the UAE in the world finals.
The event is run in partnership with the Department of Tourism and Culture and Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Drift legend Abdo Feghali will make sure to put renewed touches on the competition track, raising the challenge level of the sport, which is witnessing an increasing demand in the region, coinciding with an unprecedented advancement in performance levels.
In addition to the upcoming thrilling competitions among the top drift drivers in the UAE, the event will include exceptional activities and performances, as well as a special activation from series partner, Nissan.
Feghali, who last year had expressed his hopes for the competitions’ return in a new season, said: “It’s such a good feeling to be back in Abu Dhabi where the fans and drifters always give us such a warm welcome and bring the highest levels of energy. It’s even better to be kicking off the 15th season of the Red Bull Car Par Drift in the UAE capital. Last year the competition between the drifters and the locations all around the world were another level, we expect to step that up even further in 2023.”
The Red Bull Athlete, who holds the Guinness World Record for the Longest Drift, added: “I honestly believe we will meet some new champions this year and that new blood keeps me excited about this competition. This year I’m especially lucky to be driving the All New Nissan Z and that really adds to the flavour of the event for me personally.”
The tournament stands out from the rest because it combines car speed, engine power, driving accuracy, and the ultimate art of drifting, all paralleled with an atmosphere that’s rife with the smoke of flaming tires.
A special panel of judges will decide on participants’ performances and allot points based on renewed technical standards. Dominating the track requires an exceptional balance of speed, precision, and showmanship that’s only enhanced by the car’s looks, engine roar, and tire smoke. A large chunk of the total points awarded by the judges will be allocated to drifting skills, while the remainder will be distributed over multiple unique challenges, within squares and spiral paths, in addition to the ability of drivers to get their cars as close as possible to the cones without knocking them over.
The 2021/2022 season series of the Red Bull Car Park Drift championship came to a close at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit last December, after more than 12 months of competition, with the crowning of Egypt’s Hisham Al Khatib as the King of Drift, after he outperformed both Haitham Al-Hadidi from Oman and Ahmed Dahham from Iraq.
The world final, which Saudi Arabia hosted for the first time, saw amazing competitions between 24 drivers from 18 countries who competed at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, amid a massive audience and an exceptional atmosphere, in the largest participation in the tournament’s 15-year history.