UAE’s king of drift
DUBAI — UAE national Ahmed Al Ameri is one of the top drift racers in the country. He has been crowned the King of Drift for the second consecutive year at the Red Bull Car Park Drift racing UAE qualifier in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.
Now he plans to participate in the Red Bull Middle East and Africa Car Park Drift racing in September.
After launching its sports car Toyota 86, Al-Futtaim Motors, distributors of Toyota in the UAE, announced the launch of the Toyota Emirates Drifting Team. “It is a very good car. It is great for handling and has a perfect balance. It is a light, nimble, sleek and sporty vehicle that offers a pure driving experience on track,” Ameri told Khaleej Times. “Using this car, I will first participate in the Red Bull Drift racing in September. Then I’ll compete in the upcoming UAE drift season 2012-13.
Asked about the future plans of his team, he said: “We plan to do some driving safety awareness campaign at universities and schools. We also have plans to conduct a special drift challenge for Toyota 86 owners. We have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EmiratesDT) as well and our activities are updated regularly there.”
Being a passionate motorsports fan, Ameri developed his interest in drift racing while studying in Japan.
“I studied Economy and Business Management at the University of Nippon Bunri in Japan. Drift races are quite popular in Japan and I used to participate in a lot of races there from 2005 to 2008. I received several tips from famous Japanese racers during my stay there.
“But once I returned here, I had to take a break from drift racing because it was not a popular sport here then. So started racing again in 2011 when I got an opportunity at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. “Now the situation has changed and there is a lot of interest for drift racing in the country. Drift racing is possible at Yas Marina, Dubai Autodrome, Al Ain Sportsplex and the Emirates Sportsplex in Umm Al Quwain,” he added.
As part of the deal, Al-Futtaim Motors Toyota will offer Al Ameri a brand new manual Toyota 86 to be modified according to his expertise and to make it fit for the upcoming drifting seasons.
“Drifting is one of the fastest growing motorsports in the UAE and the Arab world. I have a responsibility to the community. One of our main missions is to raise awareness about road safety and ethics among drifting amateurs and young drivers through a series of planned activities across the UAE,” he added.