DUBAI: Representing the UAE, Ahmad Daham produced a master class performance to claim the coveted “King of Drift” title for the second consecutive year, in front of an adrenaline-fuelled 4,000 strong crowd at the Red Bull Car Park Drift Final 2015, held under the umbrella of the Dubai Motor Festival at the Meydan car park. Daham secured the first place with a score of 358 points in his tuned Nissan Sylvia. He finished ahead of Oman’s Ali Al Balushi yet again, having beaten him by one point last year.
Al Balushi ended the season with 335 points from the final. Jordan’s Rafat Haroon took the third spot on the podium with 306 points. Lebanese drifter Fadi El Boustani’s night ended in heartbreak when his car stalled at the start line on his last run and in the final four.
El Boustani had five minutes to address the mechanical problem, but luck was not on his side and he was disqualified. Having entered the Final as a dark horse, the Lebanese drifter certainly won the crowd’s hearts, with a blistering run that earned him 370 points – the highest score for a single run in this year’s final. “To be crowned King of Drift is incredible, and to do it on such an extremely hard technical track is unbelievable,” commented Ahmad Daham after the event. “The other guys pushed me all the way to the finish and I really had to be on top of my game. I couldn’t relax for even a second.”
The final brought together fifteen drifters hailing from Tunisia, Kuwait, Mauritius, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, Qatar, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. The tough job of separating the competitors went to judges Issa Ben Dalmouk, Robbie Nishida, Nikita Shikov and Dai Yoshihara, who watched closely for the 7 key judging criteria. A maximum of 80 points was allocated to drifting skills during the first and second sections, while the car’s looks and design accounted for up to 60 points, with another 60 points allocated to the driver’s proximity to the pendulum ‘clipping point’. Tire smoke, car sound and performance in the ‘Box’ – a tight enclosure the drifters need to do a ‘donut’ in – each contributed 40 points to the total score. The Red Bull Car Park Drift Final was held in partnership with Ford Middle East, Aramex Shop and Ship, Pirelli, MBC Action, Al Arabiya 99 and Meydan.