In front of thousands of motorsports fans gathered at the Forum of Beirut yards, Saudi Saeed Al Mouri was crowned “Middle East King of Drift”, winning the finals of Red Bull Car Park Drift hosted by the Lebanese capital under the patronage of the Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Faysal Karameh, and in collaboration with the Automobile and Touring Club of Lebanon (ATCL). The Lebanese Firas Khaddaj ranked 2nd, and Garo Haroutunian 3rd.
Beirut finals beat all expectations on Friday night as pilots offered unprecedented performances of a very high level for an outstanding, one-of-a-kind audience, while a very professional organization translated in excellent techniques and extremely high safety standards.
Saeed Al Mouri won on his Chevrolet Lumina collecting the highest score after highly challenging performances that proved pilots were very well prepared both technically and mentally, to compete for the regional title of Red Bull Car Park Drift. Performance was at its utmost in the final competition where engine roaring and tire friction on the track ground especially designed by speed race champion Abdo Feghali. Participants made incredibly precise turns using their hand brakes and techniques as well as the power and equipment of their cars. Each pilot showed his own drifting style and designed his car appearance to attract the crowd’s attention and appeal to the judges. Therefore, excited crowds cheered the candidates during all phases of the competition.
Mr. Karameh launched the show while in the passenger seat next to Feghali and experienced the speed and thrill. Next, the 14 participants representing 14 countries: KSA, UAE, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, and Lebanon, offered great drifting shows. A special jury evaluated the pilots and assigned 70% to the art of drift, while the remaining percentage was equally divided between engine roaring and tire smoke, crowd cheering, and car appearance.
“Tonight, the Middle East was tuned online and on TV to watch the best 14 participants in the region compete in one of the largest drifting events the world over”, said Alberto Chahoud, Regional Communications Manager for Red Bull “I thank his excellency Mr. Karami for his great patronage. Special recognition goes also to the ATCL officials for their contribution as well as our valued sponsors without whom the event would not have been the same.”
The judging panel consisted of Middle East Rally Champion Mamduh Khayat, International car designer, Quirt Crawford, drifting pilot Mike Whidett “Mad Mike” and Gaby Kryker from the ATCL.
Commenting on his success, Al Mouri said “A great organization and awesome set-up is what we lived today. I am proud to have raised the flag of my country in this highly competitive race”.
Regional qualifiers started in Kuwait on April 22nd and toured several countries in the Middle East region for 3 months before the finale in Beirut. More than 10000 spectators watched Red Bull Car Park Drift rounds this year in the Gulf and East Africa but the Lebanese capital witnessed the largest crowds.