So, how do you think drifting in the region has improved since then?
“The big thing we’re trying to prove is that we’re getting drifters off public roads and into safe environments. All competitors wear helmets, we have the water barriers surrounding the track and we have the barriers. Worse comes to worse, a driver spins and knocks over a small cone. And that’s it!
“That’s also got us huge media coverage, especially in places like Saudi Arabia, where drifting was not allowed. Now with the Motorsport federation of Saudi Arabia, we’re organising six or seven drift events there. Now we’re competing everywhere in the Middle East, and with the Federation’s help.”
It’s a big accomplishment in a short space of time, but given your enthusiasm for the sport, it must feel very special to be putting this all together…
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to see the level of drifting at the Red Bull Car Park Drift events. Plus, everybody is talking about it, and it’s received huge media coverage. We’ve come a long way. We’ve taken crazy drifters who used to do it on public roads and put them into a safe environment to show them how to drift and help them to improve also.
“We’re also getting closer to the public. It’s not Formula One and it’s not rallying. Anyone can come and join in. We’re even picking winners at every event so that they can enjoy the feeling. As one of the judges, I help design the track, I drive the track and do media runs. So almost everything!
“But that’s my job, that’s my dream, that’s my life. And I just love it.”
As a judge with Red Bull car Park Drift, you’re amongst the best to tell us this: what makes a successful drifter?
“It’s testing, man. You have to test all the time. For me personally, I organise say 30-40 drift events every year in the Middle East, so for me that’s my practice!
“Okay, before we didn’t have any places to test, but now in every country there are at least one or two drifting Championships organised. We have all the karting tracks that we can rent and go and do drifting there. So we have no excuses now! We won’t be doing drifting from on public roads from now on.”
It’s not just about providing the venues though, is it? You also do a lot of work helping aspiring drifters develop their skills…
“I do try and teach people who I feel have the talent but are not on the right direction. You have to put them on the right direction and show them how it’s done. It’s unbelievable watching people you’ve helped get better and better and knowing that you’ve made a difference, and it’s great for them.”
Do you think this new record will open up more opportunities for international competition for yourself and other Middle East competitors?
“That’s our target. Hopefully with the Red Bull Car Park Drift we’re going to go global, starting from next year. We’re really proud that the event was created in our region and that it’ starting to get global interest. This is a big thing for us and we want to make sure we get it right.’
So, Red Bull sponsorship, a new Guinness World Record and several regional drifting, hill climb and rallying Championships already under your belt. What’s next for Abdo ‘Dado’ Feghali?
“Well we’ve broken the world record with a rear-wheel drive car, so why not set a new record with a front-wheel drive car? With Easydrift, Chevrolet, Red Bull, and I’m sure EasyDrift action, I’m sure we can do this. In fact we’ve already done some testing and I’m happy with that, so that could be our next goal. We have a few more surprises in store, but one record at a time!”