x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai student crowned UAE's King of Drift

Thousands turn up at the Red Bull Car Park Drift in Al Ain to witness Lebanese student Jihad Hassan beat off the best drivers in the country.

One of the competitors at the Red Bull Car Park Drift in Al Ain. Courtesy Red Bull
One of the competitors at the Red Bull Car Park Drift in Al Ain. Courtesy Red Bull

AL AIN // A 20-year-old student has been crowned the national 'King of Drift' after a fast and furious final.

Jihad Hassan beat off the best drivers in the country at the Red Bull Car Park Drift event at Al Ain Airport on Friday night.

He sped through several rounds in his red Nissan Silvia and earned a perfect score from the judges.

Hassan, a Lebanese business management student at Dubai's American University, will now go on to represent the UAE in the regional finals for the Middle East and Africa title.

"The competition was strong and stressful. It's been one the best races I've ever entered," he said.

The judges included race-ace Abdo Feghali, who this month broke the Guinness World Record for the longest drift in a vehicle at Yas Marina Circuit.

He said the track's slippery conditions separated the good drivers from the bad. "The top drifters proved to be extremely clever in knowing how to use this to their advantage, which is undoubtedly why they earned the win," he said.

The judges doled out penalty points for hitting the track's separators, leaving the track or losing control of the car.

Feghali said this year's contest "clearly reflects the awareness that drifting has gained in the region".

The event was Hassan's third attempt at winning the competition and he is glad all his practise has finally paid off.

"Hopefully, I will be crowned the Middle East's King of Drift," he said.

eharnan@thenational.ae