Round 3 of the Middle East Drift Championship would touch down at an all new circuit on the tour. A custom made layout would be constructed at the Al Wasl Sports Club, a first of its type for twin drifting in the region and something that was designed to really break down barriers in developing the sport and bringing the sport to the fans.
With the iconic backdrop of downtown Dubai, a capacity crowd and electric atmosphere gave it the makings of Dubai’s biggest ever drift event. The most highly anticipated event of recent times was about to unfold. With over 25 drivers from the region adapting to this new layout, the risk and reward style of the track would really push the drivers to re-evaluate their boundaries and dig deeper into their courage. Once again the top 5 drivers were super close in qualifying and, with the drivers having to adapt over a short practice session, it was anyone’s game. Championship leader and Round 2 winner Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan would stamp his authority on qualifying taking P1 and giving something for the Emirates fans to cheer about. He would be closely followed by Dany Neville who had changed cars for this event, P3 would be locked out by another UAE driver Mohammed Al Mansoori showing the UAE drivers performing strong on home territory. Championship contenders Dmitry Illyuk and Mohammad Al Khaiat would take positions 4 and 5 respectively, grabbing valuable championship points in the process. When the sun went down and the lights went on the night of action at Round 3 Dubai circuit would really showcase the best drift drivers in the region. With a capacity crowd and sold-out grandstand there was no doubt that it would show drifting is here to stay and more popular than ever. Early upsets would come in the Great 8 with Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan tagging the wall in his Top 8 damaging his car and ending his night. Mohammad Al Khaiat would have an intense battle with Driver Dmitriy Illyuk and, after 2 one more times, Dmitriy would take the win marching on to the final 4. With the top 2 in the Championship exiting in the early stages it was all to play for and anyone’s game. Top Omani Driver Ali Balushi, was also performing great on his debut, rising to the challenge against Dmitriy Illyuk and showing how strong the Oman drivers are. After a ‘One More Time’ Dmitriy would come out on top to progress to his first ever Middle East Drift Final.
Dany Neville would move on to the final 4 and meet fellow UAE driver Mohamed Al Mansoori. Mohamed had a strong qualifying session and after battling through the top 16 would have another strong drive against Dany. Dany would have the cleaner of the two runs and progressed to his first final after coming so close to the podium in the previous 2 events. The final would come down to a matchup between Monster Energy Team mates – Dany Neville and Dmitriy Illyuk. Both drivers would be pushing harder than ever to make a mark before the summer break. After another one more time battle Dmitriy would gain a slight advantage over the two runs giving him the advantage and Round 3 win of the event. Dmitriy Added ‘MEDC Round 3 was our 4th and most wanted appearance before summer break.The Team and I put all we had and gave maximum efforts to get to the top spot.The track itself was very tricky and with the ever changing surface conditions made things Interesting. The outside clipping point on combined with 60+mph and transitions near the concrete in full smoke was so difficult to see through.After 4 x One more time battles for me is a proof that this win was not easy and if you look at the car rubbed all over the walls you understand MEDC is no joke and it definitely is on the map.Now the Car ‘Drako’ will go on its to summer holidays back to Europe and will be back this November for a title fight ‘ MEDC Round 3- UAE Dubai.
1. Dmitriy Illyuk – Ukraine – Monster Energy
2. Dany Neville – Lebanon – Monster Energy
3. Mohamed Al Mansoori – UAE – X Unit Racing.