Muscat: Three Omani drifters who shared the top three spots at the recently concluded Red Bull Car Park Drift Final 2016 in Muscat are proud Nissan owners. While Haitham Al Hadidi was crowned as the ‘King of Drift’ driving Nissan Silvia, Ali Al Balushi took home second place with Nissan Silvia as well. Tarek Al Shaihani came in third driving Nissan SX 240.
A senior official of Nissan Oman from the house of Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA) said: “We are delighted that this year all Omani drivers who are owners of Nissan vehicles reached the podium. We witnessed great performances that highlighted the diverse range of capabilities possessed by the Nissan vehicles. We are happy with the results and congratulate the winners who used Nissan’s popular sports segment cars.”
The participants represented the best of the best drifting talent from Qatar, Kuwait, Mauritius, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman. They earned their place at the final having topped their respective national qualifiers.
Sold-out crowds lined the drifting track created at Port Sultan Qaboos to be part of the biggest motorsports event ever hosted in Oman. Under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Taimur bin Assad Al Said, the Red Bull Car Park Drift Final was held in association with the Oman Automobile Association. Judging was carried out by international drifting stars Ken Gushi, Dai Yoshihara, Aleksandr Grinchuk and Khalid Al Manji.
A breakthrough motorsport event in the Middle East, the Red Bull Car Park Drift is the most technically demanding drifting competition that highlights the region’s top drifters and brings adrenaline-pumping excitement to motorsports lovers.
At only 18 years of age, first time competitor Haitham Al Hadidi (390 points) took home first place after a stellar performance. He said his dream was to put Oman on the map for drifting and motorsports.
It was a bittersweet result for long-time national champion Ali ‘Lalou’ Al Balushi (386 points) who took home second place for the second consecutive Red Bull Car Park Drift Final. Tarek Al Shaihani who took the third spot (313 points) said all drivers trained hard for the final.
Judges were focusing on a range of different criteria including drifting skills, car look, box, clipping point, pendulum, gate 1 and 2, car smoke and tire smoke. The demanding track, designed by rally champion and Red Bull athlete Abdo Feghali was complete with permanent crane structures that tested the drifting skills of the competitors on a new level.
Nissan has partnered with Red Bull for the 2016 series of the Red Bull Car Park Drift Championship.