February 16th saw the first ever Monster Energy Emirates Drift Championship season draw to a close at the UAE’s oldest skid pad, the Emirates Motorplex in Umm al-Quwain. The venue is now the home of the Prodrift Academy, where drivers can learn to drift for the first time, but for one day only the best drivers in the Middle East descended on the skid pad to compete for championship glory.
For anyone unfamiliar with the format of competitive drifting, drivers would practice on the custom course layout first – a track specifically designed to benefit the more aggressive drivers and lower powered cars, in order to ensure high powered cars would not have a large advantage – before attempting single car qualifying runs in the first portion of the competition.
Once the qualifying was over and decided, drivers qualifying from positions 9-24 would be paired up against each other in our Top 24 sudden death stage, whilst qualifiers 1-8 would gain an automatic pass into the Top 16 stage. These battle stages would see drivers battle head-to-head, with both drivers getting a “lead" and a “chase” run, while judges poured over line, angle, style and proximity in order to decide who progresses to next stage of competition.
Kicking off the Top 16, Dany Neville would be taken to a one more time with Nicholas Solomon in one of the closet battles of the entire night. The damaged S13 of Neville would battle on, but unfortunately would mean Neville was unable to give chase, seeing him bow out of competition at the Top 16. Sultan meanwhile would dispatch Akdora Alenizi with relative ease and would join his teammate Khalifa in the great 8, as he moved past Ahmed Al Marar.