Motor sport fans from across the GCC descended on Yas Marina Circuit this weekend to watch the world’s biggest Drift AllStars in action.
For the first time, a star studded line-up of 10 international drifters as well as the best drifters from across the Middle East battled it out on the North Circuit of the world-famous F1® track in the hopes of taking the coveted top spot in what proved to be a spectacular first round of the 2016 Drift AllStars GP Series – Abu Dhabi Drift GP
In the main event it was Steve Baggsy Biagioni from the UK dominated qualification, unbelievably this was the first outing for his newly revised Nissan S13, built specifically for his international competition campaign in 2016 and equipped with a freshly American built LSV8.
Embracing the power and laying down the right lines, he was joined in P2 by Andrius Vasilkiaus(Lithuania), with Ali Makhseed (Kuwait)in his Mk4 Supra leading the middle east representation in P3.
Seasoned championship contender Nigel Colfer(Ireland) locked in P4 in the Tri-Ace tyres S13 with a run that looked like he’d been here a hundred times before.
Our Top 16 throw up some great battles and some drama at the same time. Reigning UAE champion Ahmed Alamri would battle Abdulhadi Alqatani, but a mechanical problem caused an engine fire and that put the GT86 pilot out of the running.
Home town here Sheikh Sultan Al Qassimi was looking strong as he marched through the Top 16, fighting his way to fifth place where his night was stopped by Fredrik ‘Fredox’ Oksnevad. A very close battle would put the Norwegian Spy Optic Tri Ace tyres driver on top and he progressed.
With air temperatures still up in the mid twenties past ten o clock at night, the drivers were still feeling the heat. Baggsy would need to go one more time against Fredox in the final four and a consistent on the line performance meant he was in the final.
In the other semi final, two titans would meet. Drift Allstars stalwart Nigel Colfer, who relishes competing against new opponents would meet one of the best drivers in the middle east, Ahmed Daham. After numerous calls of one more time, the judges separated them and Daham moved in to the coveted spot next to Baggsy for the final.
Incredibly, by now Daham’s Nissan was only running on five of the six cylinders and ultimately Steve Baggioni took control of the battles by a small margin and with it, the win. Round one was his and the best view from the podium to go with it!
As ever, Drift Allstars brought together some incredible drivers to create a fresh line up with an unpredictable night of driving and skill keeping the crowds cheering all the way to the end at Yas Marina.
Next up we’re back to England and the British GP on May 1st and 2nd at Lydden Hill. There we’ll be joined by more European drivers who have been building fresh weapons over the winter break, so can Baggsy continue his momentum and dethrone reigning champion James Deane?
Faisal Al Sahlawi, Head of Yas Marina Circuit Retail Development said: “The first round of the 2016 Drift AllStars GP Series here at Yas Marina Circuit has truly been a success. We have witnessed an exhilarating evening of drifting with great talent on show from both the international and GCC competitors.”