More than 10 thousand people gathered on Sunday September 23rd in the parking lot adjacent to Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square. Spectators from all over the middle east and gulf had the chance to witness first-hand Lebanon’s Oliver El Kik clinch first position in the Red Bull Car Park Drift Finals and accede to the thrown of drift in the region. Lebanon’s Kifah Hilal ranked second while third position went to Egypt’s Hisham Al Khateeb. Trophies were awarded by the Lebanese Minister of Tourism, Avedis Guidanian.
Red Bull Car Park Drift was back in Beirut this Sunday afternoon, 11 years after its birth in 2008 in Lebanon. The 2018 edition was more international with drivers from 12 nations including the host country Lebanon. El Kik claimed the title of the World Finals with an outstanding performance throughout the 3 stages of the competition. El Kik earned the lead in the car drift playoffs with his adrenaline-pumping drift spectacle setting the crowd ablaze. El kik obviously impressing the judges earning him 374 points. Hilal also showed good performance finishing second with 374 points, ahead of Al Khateeb’s 438 points.
The World Finals in Beirut was in partnership with Total, Falken Tires and Honor by Go Mobile in addition to Solidere, Beirut Municipality and Noise. Media partnership with LBCI, Sawt El Ghad, and NRJ Radio.
A total of 17 drivers participated in the event with 4 wild cards and 12 drifters namely from: Lebanon, Oman, the UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan, Mauritius, Turkey, Tunisia and Algeria. All drivers competed in Heat 1 with 8 qualifying to Heat 2 and 4 to the playoffs.
The judging committee, including Aleksandr Grinchuk, Robbie Nishida, Mike Whiddett and Eli Ghanem evaluated the drivers’ performance based on a diverse and well-defined set of criteria. The judges paid attention to performance, car esthetics, design and special effects. Of course, the judges focused on drift skills with a weight allocation of 120 out of 400 points split over two parts of the track. The scoring scale was further broken down to emphasize 8 other factors: 40 points were allocated to car esthetics, 20 to car sounds, 20 to tire smoke, 50 to box driving (2x25), and 20 to spiral driving. The remaining points were distributed to special manoeuvers, such as the Gate (20), Flipper (2x30) and Clip (50).
All images courtesy of Akl Yazbeck
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