And we thought there was no motorsport in the Middle East at the moment! Although I suppose technically this would be motorise-port.
crankandpiston was recently invited to attend an RC Drift Battle in Dubai’s Al Quoz area. And if so far these images have been fooling you, ‘RC’ stands for ‘radio control’. Yep, a bit out of left field this one. Still, we’re not ones to turn our noses up at on-track driving panacahe, regardless how small the wheels are. So we duly ventured across to Al Quoz to watch battle commence.
Free practice is already underway when we arrived. The air is alive with the sound of multiple whirring motors and the subtle squeal of tyre rubber on ceramic tile. And every few seconds an RC car whips through our field of vision or just in front of our shoelaces. Truth be told, neither crankandpiston lensman James nor myself are sure what to make of this scene.
The cobwebs begin to clear when we are introduced to Eric, facilitator of the RC Drift Battle and owner of Dubai-based Extreme Hobbies where many of today’s competitors have purchased their equipment.
“RC drifting was started back in around 2003 by a group called DubDrift, and I support the group by promoting and organizing the events” explains Eric. “In the beginning we had about ten people but it’s growing every year. Now we have a full drifting series with individual rounds that last up to eight weeks, and at the end we crown our Drift King.”
We were assured though that DubDrift’s RC Battles were more than just a bunch of guys pratting around.
“If you see a middle-aged guy driving a radio controlled car, you’ll think it’s a toy. And this is a misconception. RC Drift Battles are a hobby yes, but it’s not easy. The reality is it’s very complicated. You don’t just buy these cars from the shop and begin drifting them immediately! There’s a lot of commitment involved.”