The battles weren’t easy, and for the majority, it was the first to ever experience being chased or chasing, and that’s what it was all about for the drifters, to have a real life experience of what they see on the internet, and their hunger to going to the next level of drifting. Some have played it safe, but there were those who had nothing to lose and they went in with full throttle, like Mohammed Nofal in the E90 3-Series. Mohammed to me personally was the more aggressive newcomer in tandem, and he definitely surprised everyone, including the judges, but unfortunately after his battle with 1st qualifier Raafat Haroun, he couldn’t score enough points to qualify to the final 4 battles, putting him at 8th place. Other drivers like Ahmad Shraim (E92 M3), Sameer Adwan (GT86), also did an incredible job on track, with their properly built drift machines, getting to 5th and 6th respectively.
Mahmoud al Jabali secured the 4th place after winning his battles against Ahmad Shraim and Abdulla Abu Hussein, while Abdulla got his first tandem podium with a 3rd place win.
The Final Battle
The moment that everyone has been waiting for, the final battle. It went down to the 1st and 2nd qualifiers Raafat Haroun (2JZ GT86) and Haitham Al Hadidi (2JZ Silvia S15). Jordan Vs. Oman.
The advantage for Raafat is that he has driven on that track almost more than a 100 times, so it’s pretty much like a walk in the park for him. As for 19 year old Haitham, well, he’s a Middle East drift champion, and he has really put himself on the map as the drifter to look out for, as he is one aggressive and precise driver. Battle started with Raafat leading, with Hadidi keeping tight and close proximity, chasing that Toyota without breaking a sweat with an unbelievable amount of smoke and anti-lag noise coming from both cars. Hadidi is now on lead, and he gained decent distance, keeping Raafat away from him. That battle was judged to be a tie, because at Hadidi’s chase run, he has done several corrections, and then on Raafat’s chase, there was a big gap, so there was no solid win. A One-More-Time was called, and the drivers went on track again. Hadidi on lead, the drivers were given a green light to an aggressive start. Haitham really wanted to grab that win, so at the final battle, he wanted to give all he could.
Just after initiation on turn one, as soon as Haitham got his angle to start drifting, all five studs of his right rear wheel gave up, breaking his wheel off and planting the car on the ground, and that was Raafat’s ticket to win the championship. Haitham thankfully got out of the car safely, and there was barely any damage to the car. That called the results.
Raafat Haroun took his first place at the first ever tandem drift championship in Jordan, Haitham got second and Abdulla abu Hussein at third place.
The level of excitement for the drivers was through the roof, and they couldn’t be happier for themselves and each other, as they have finally achieved something big.