Drift UAE to be launched at Yas Marina Circuit

UAE's first professional series has been inspired by Japanese drifting.

The first of seven rounds of Drift UAE will be held at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday. Christopher Pike / The National
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ABU DHABI // The best drifters in the country and region will gather at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday for the opening round of Drift UAE.

As the UAE's first professional series in the motorsport, Drift UAE will see nearly 20 home-grown and regional drifters, including the UAE's own "Drift King", Ahmed Al Ameri, compete in three categories: Street, Modified and Pro.

The series will include seven rounds throughout the UAE, the first and last of which to take place at Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Adapted for this region from the original form of Japanese drifting, the sport involves manoeuvring cars through a marked course at high speed and at close quarters into controlled sideways slides.

A panel of judges awards points for four elements: speed, line, angle and overall impression. It takes place on a closed course and is judged on execution and style rather than who finishes the course fastest.

Founded by local drift enthusiasts Mohammad Alfalasi and Samer Khadra in 2011, Drift UAE aims to grow grass-root drifting in the UAE and the region while providing young fans with a safe and professional platform to learn and grow.

Saud Al Qaydi, the motorsport manager of Yas Marina Circuit said: "Yas Marina Circuit supports all levels of drifting, from our regular Drift Nights which are open to anyone, through to professional events such as UAE Drift. Given the rising popularity of drifting in the UAE, we hope to add new products and events specifically aimed at bringing the action and excitement of drift to new audiences."

Alfalasi, the chief executive of Drift UAE, said: "Yas Marina Circuit is a challenging and fun circuit for drifting and we're expecting fierce competition from local and regional talent in this opening round.

"Drift not only appeals to those participating but it's also a great entertainment for fans to watch."

The cost to enter is Dh50 per person. Racing begins at 6pm.


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