Mohamad Chehab (centre) celebrates after winning the Red Bull Car Park Drift World Final season opener in Abu Dhabi.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Mohamad Chehab will represent the UAE in the Red Bull Car Park Drift World Final 2023 after winning the season opener and qualifier in Abu Dhabi at the weekend.
The UAE capital played host for the first event of the latest edition with excited crowds packing the stands and taking in what was an extremely close competition.
It was the first time in five years that the Red Bull Car Park Drift had the chance to thrill Abu Dhabi crowds with young and old turning out at Nation Towers on the Corniche to see Chehab crowned the King of Drift, in partnership with Nissan and the all-new Nissan Z, the Department of Tourism and Culture, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
The result for Chehab sees him as the first to book a spot in the Red Bull Car Park Drift World Final, which will take place at the end of the year. It’s the second time in quick succession for the 26-year-old who backs up his 2022 performance in the World Final in Jeddah with an outstanding run in Abu Dhabi.
For drift legend and Red Bull Car Park Drift technical director, Abdo Feghali, it was the perfect start to the 2023 season on the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
“We were so happy to get the event back to Abu Dhabi for the fans and for the drift community here. What a great competition it was, the UAE is always strong and congrats to Mohamed for being the first to get a spot in the World Final.”
“There’s a long way to go in the season but we’re off to a fantastic start and based on what we’ve just seen, this could be one of the best year’s for the Red Bull Car Park Drift ever.”
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 Red Bull Car Park Drift Championship was launched in Lebanon in 2008, in the indoor car park of a Beirut shopping mall.
It was the perfect opportunity for drift enthusiasts to put their skills to the test, within a sporty and secure environment that adhered to safety standards. The event witnessed the rise of Lebanese racing champion Feghali, who became a legend in the field, while the unparalleled success of the championship led to it becoming an annual regional staple that later turned into a global series as its popularity gained more traction.