Again at “Pit Stop” we meet the champs. This time it was Abdo Feghali or simply “Dado”. We meet on a very busy Saturday noon with the track loaded with youngsters practicing on their Karts and many motorsport enthusiasts enjoying the day.
We sat with Dado to talk about practically everything. Our conversation started with the drift shows and car park drifting that has been taking place last year and the years before to reach topics like red bull dominance in motorsport and the new WRC season.
About the Red Bull Car Park Drift
“Drifting is very new to the Middle East. In our region we are used to rallying and formula 1 and we do not have the level of drifting and experience found in Europe, in the states and in Japan where drifting was invented in the first place. We started with drifting in Lebanon back in 2008 where we had the first Red Bull Car Park Drift.” Dado explains enthusiastically about drifting as our conversation starts. “Red Bull Car Park Drift is a mixture of Gymkhana and Drifting, where you see ‘a figure of 8’ a ‘round about’ and a very fast ‘S shape corner’ which we will be trying to introduce this year. Year after year we are trying to improve and increase the level of the sport.”
Last year Dado and Red Bull decided to go international. They travelled to 11 countries in the Middle East and they worked on a qualification to choose a winner that represents his country in the Red Bull Car Park Drift finals. Every motorsport enthusiast in Lebanon and the Middle East remembers the event last year in Forum du Beyrouth where 25000 people watched the drifts with amazing cars and great displays. Dado also explains that wherever he is going around the Middle East he is meeting with people thrilled about the Red Bull Car Park Drift and people are seriously preparing for this year’s event. Dado also reminds us that such an event costs around a quarter of the cost of a rally. “The Red Bull Car Park Drift is all about skill, it’s not about anything else it’s just burning tyres, talent and skill” Dado adds.
The upcoming drift season
When asked about this year’s events and the Red Bull Car Park Drift calendar Dado explains; “Starting April this year we start Red Bull Car Park Drift tour where we have 14 events touring most of the Arab countries. We are visiting Egypt and Iran this year, and we will be having 8 events in Lebanon instead of 5. The events in Lebanon will start by June. We will have 7 qualification rounds and 7 parades in the villages to inform the people of this sport. The final qualification round will take place in the Forum du Beyrouth to choose the winners from Lebanon.”
Through our conversation about the drift shows, Dado sends a message to all speed and drift enthusiasts in Lebanon, “ I wish all the Lebanese guys that like to speed and drift on the roads to come and show us their skills in ATCL’s speed tests and the Red Bull Car Park Drift. The road isn’t the right place to do so.”
The Lebanese invention
Dado is really proud of the achievement organizing such events in Lebanon. The Red Bull Car Park Drift that took place in city Mall in 2008 was included in Red Bull’s events movie that was released recently. The event impressed the head offices in Lebanon and Dubai, and surely in Austria too. The show was impressive to the extent that other countries are motivated in emulate it. Abdo believes that this Lebanese creation is something to be really proud of and it will be nice to aid other interested parties around the world in organizing such events.
We shifted the conversation a little to talk about Red Bull and the rising competition coming from other energy drinks. “Red Bull is practically on another level. No body matches Red Bull. They are winning in Rallying, Dakar, F1, Moto GP and many other motorsports which are at the same time extreme sports. Red Bull search for quality in their support, while other energy drinks go for quantity. A Red Bull athlete is a unique trademark. He is the only one allowed to wear the Red Bull image.” Dado says explaining that they also welcome any competition but he believes that Red Bull has the edge and hope that this will continue.
More to come in Part 2 of this interview where Dado talks about ROL, future plans, circuit racing, and many other issues. Stay tuned!!!