This season has been steady so far with no major hick-ups until round five of the UAE championship. I was looking forward to this round on the national circuit at Dubai Autodrome since it doesn’t have too many straits.
It all went well on Thursday in the free practice sessions as the track was relatively dry, however, Friday morning didn’t give us the best grip as some showers, mixed with dusty conditions, affected the track a lot. Qualifying was looking good for a front row start, but I decided to stay one more lap and try to get a pole position to help with our race start.
Unfortunately due to the slippery conditions I missed my braking marker and ran outside the track. I managed to get it back but the rear tire slipped and caught me out on the dusty curbs, flipped the bike and lost the rear! I injured my right shin and calf in the process as my foot got stuck in the rear set. To add to the drama, the bike regained traction and cruised straight into the wall which resulted in heavy damage to the front forks, radiator and some other parts.
After clearance from the medical center, I was still considering racing for the points but unfortunately we couldn’t get the bike ready with the amount of damage. So this was a bad weekend for the team, but we will still think positively and look forward to the final round on the 15th. My injury now is almost back to 100% after some rehabilitation and physio so it shouldn’t be any issue.
I would also like to thank all my sponsors for helping out this season, even though it has been tough financially and we were struggling a bit with lack of funds. A special thank you goes to my Lebanese sponsors LIFCO group and my good friend Shadi who went that little extra in supporting me recently.
We couldn’t score any points from round five due to the crash so I’m currently sitting third in the championship. So far we have been finishing on the podium in every race, but the championship title is impossible at the moment. However, I’m really looking forward to doing my best in the final round and finishing the season on a high! Roll on the final round.
The famed Yas Marina Circuit, known for hosting the final round of the Formula One series, will transform into a drifters paradise Thursday and Friday to kick off the Drift Allstars 2016 GP season.
Abu Dhabi will welcome 10 international drivers from across the globe to battle under the lights against the 20 best drivers in the Middle East, marking the first time the region’s drivers compete against some of the biggest names in the sport.
The sideways-style event will offer more than just top-notch action on the track though, with plenty on offer for visitors who want to be kept on the edge of their seat.
Guests can check out a super car showdown, more than 150 cars from 15 different owners’ clubs on display – including 60 customised cars – as well as a stunt bike and quad bike show, live DJ, MC and more.
For those that want to see what it’s like behind the wheel, Yas Marina Circuit has driving experiences such as drift sprint, drift taxi and drag for all to try for themselves.
“Kicking off at the Yas Marina Circuit is a dream come true,” said Niall Gunn, founder of Drift Allstars. “The Abu Dhabi Drift GP season opener is the perfect fit for Drift Allstars as we kick off our new international series which goes across 3 continents this season.
“Hailed as the ultimate drift circuit on the planet it’s going to be one of the main highlights of the 2016 season, utilizing this world class facility and combining live music and entertainment as part of the show. We cannot wait to see a star studded lineup of International Drivers battle the best Drift drivers in the Middle East.”
Hometown favourite Ahmed Alamri, the reigning Drift UAE champion, will be one of the local stars to watch on the track. He’ll try to plant a flag on home soil against the host of international drivers.
Kuwait’s Al Makhseed will bring his talents from north of the region and early season wins, while Ahmad Daham will look to show why he’s one of the most successful drivers from Jordan.
Other names from the UAE include Sultan Al Qassimi and Khalifa Al Nahyan, who will both make their 2016 international
debuts and will be joined by Dubai resident DJ Danny Neville, who will trade his mic for a car to take on the best.
Gates will open from 16:00, with tickets priced at Dh60 for regular admission and Dh250 for VIP.
General admission will give you grandstand seating and access to the entertainment area, while VIP offers Stage 2 level seating, unlimited soft drinks and energy drinks, as well as roped-off pit access.
Come check out one of the Middle East’s fastest growing motorsports which is quickly taking the region by storm and witness worldclass drifting in the season opener of Drift Allstars.
The UAE’s Mohammed Balooshi was pleased by how well he performed with his new bike in the first stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on Sunday.
The Emirati, competing on his new KTM 450 Rally Replica for the first time, began the day in 29th position and 10th in the overall classification. But a solid drive of 3 hrs, 56 minutes and 56 seconds, saw him occupy seventh place at the end of day one.
It was a strong show by Balooshi, whose last competitive appearance was the Oilibya Rally in Morocco in early October.
“It was a nice stage even though day one of the race is always almost a warm up,” he said. “Today I had the chance to push a bit and I felt very comfortable with the new bike. “My team always keeps working on finding the best setup to suit my riding and this bike is slightly more competitive than the one we used last year and I’m confident we will have a good race and a great season ahead of us.
“I thought I would make more mistakes in the first stage and also thought that it would take me longer to get used to this new KTM Rally Replica. But I’m quite happy with the progress I have made. I am looking forward to the next three stages as we keep sweeping in the desert.
“Our desert is the most beautiful in the world and at the same time this race can be the most challenging and demanding of them all.”
He added: “I am one of the very few Emirati competitors. And I hope to be able to make my people and my team proud with a good result. I’ll put all my effort and focus on it.”