Tires will be spinning and engines roaring next weekend in Muscat as Oman kicks off the 2018 Red Bull Car Park Drift Series.

The best drifters in the Sultanate are gearing up to battle for the coveted ‘King of Drift’ title, and the chance to represent the nation against the region’s top drifters in the Series Final in September.

The series, now in its ninth year, showcases the hottest drifting talent across the region. Throughout the year, regional hopefuls will push their skills and cars to the limits at Local Qualifiers in the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Algeria, Jordan, Mauritius and Lebanon. Local winners will then vie for the ultimate title at the biggest drifting event of the year – the Series Final in Lebanon.

2016 King of Drift Haitham Al Hadidi
 2016 King of Drift Haitham Al Hadidi © NAIM CHIDIAC

 

Oman’s drifters have dominated the regional scene these past few years. In 2016, then 18-year-old Haitham Al Hadidi took home the regional title in front of a home crowd, leading an all-Omani podium finish. In the Series Final in Kuwait last year, Oman drifted to victory once again as Omani Rafaat Al Yahyai roared past the competition and snatched the crown after a high-octane performance. This year, with all eyes on Oman, local competition is high to decide who will represent the Sultanate and battle to continue the winning streak. Both Haitham and Rafaat will be jostling for the chance to back up their previous wins.

Drifting fever began to grip the region in the late 2000s and Oman too began to fall for the adrenaline-pumping excitement of the sport. The first Red Bull Car Park Drift Qualifier was held in Oman in 2010 and since then, the competition has only become bigger with more participants, more spectators and more challenging tracks.

Champion rally driver and Red Bull Athlete Abdo Feghali designs the tracks for all the Local Qualifiers around the region and plans to up the ante for the 2018 tracks starting with Oman. The drivers’ performance will be scored by a panel of expert judges based on an impressive exterior, how well they continuously drift and follow the track, and much more.

Oman’s Rafaat Al Yahyai took the crown in 2017
 Oman’s Rafaat Al Yahyai took the crown in 2017 © NAIM CHIDIAC

 

The Red Bull Car Park Drift Oman Qualifier is held in association with the Oman Automobile Association and in partnership with Hi FM, Hala FM, Global Oil and Gas company Total, ultra-high-performance tires Falken Tires, Omantel, and Bank Muscat.

The drifting action starts at 6pm on Friday January 26 at the Oman Automobile Association.

 

Source: www.redbull.com

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