Friday,15 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1272, (26 November - 2 December 2015)
Friday,15 December, 2017
Issue 1272, (26 November - 2 December 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Clutch the trophy

For the second year in a row Ahmed Daham owns Middle East drifting, reports  Mohamed Abdel-Razek

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Al-Ahram Weekly

If perfection exists, then he is not far from it. That was the feeling you got had you had the chance to see Ahmed Daham’s performance in the 2015 Car Park Drift Middle East finals that took place in Dubai on Friday 20 November. Surely, every drifting fan and driver knew in advance that it requires really something special to snatch the CPD title from the tough 2014 holder. Barring a mechanical failure, crash or a bad performance, they all knew they would need to use the walls in order to get away with points against Daham, 28, who is originally Iraqi, with Jordanian nationality and plays for the UAE.

Sixteen drifters from 10 Middle East countries — Egypt, Jordon, the UAE, Lebanon, Mauritius, Tunisia, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — were chosen by the top class judging panel of Daijiro Yoshihara of Japan, Nikita Shikov from Russia and Robbie Nishida, also of Japan. An additional qualification round was held on Wednesday for the 12 drifters who took second in their national qualifiers, including the Egyptian Haitham Samir with the RX8, while the nine who qualified first in their nationals were automatically through, waiting for Friday.

The drifters were ready to rumble at the Meydan Hotel’s G12 parking lot. The first run produced no surprises despite several crashes including the Tunisian Khalil Kharrat who smashed his E36 into the barriers while approaching the box; probably brake failure. Omani Refaat Al-Yehya had an adrenaline overdose that ended with his Nissan Silvia hugging the concrete sidewalk. Lebanese Fouad Mexaci recaptured last year’s memories by crashing into the barriers with the front end of his car, just like last year when he crashed his E30 exactly the same way.

The two Egyptians, Ahmed Al-Desouki with his E36 and Samir, managed to go to the second run despite mistakes. Al-Desouki had many challenges, starting with a car he was not used to and ending with the pressure of being in the finals for the first time. However, all of this didn’t matter much when, in the second run, his differential — which allows the outer drive wheel to rotate faster than the inner drive wheel during a turn — broke.

For Samir, things weren’t too bad. He started the second run superbly, however, he soon looked like he was asking himself when the run would end. He missed one clipping point order with some cones here and there which cost him a close kick-out.

Only one point was awarded to the desperate Refaat Haroun from Jordan with his GT86 who was gifted third position after the talented Lebanese Fadi Boustani suffered mechanical failure in the third run. Second place went to the hard working Omani Ali Al-Bloushi and his Silvia after a majestic performance that would have granted him the title if there was no Daham.


The writer is a freelance journalist.

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