Drifting is an art; your car is the brush and the asphalt is your canvas. Sent to meet with some of the best drifters in Egypt, Africa, and the entire MENA region, Hassan Abdeltawab comes back with a changed perspective on the art of drift.
As children, many of us were crazy about playing with toy cars or even obsessing over race-based video games – the growling of the engines, the screeching of the tires, the adrenaline rush, and that feeling of immense joy as we cross that finish line in first place. Ok, I lied. It's not just a childhood thing; I still can’t resist the video games. It's like an opportunity to live vicariously in this world that only a talented few are able to join. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be in one of those pimped out, tuned up cars.
We Egyptians love speed and are generally fearless when it comes to taking extreme risks for one surge of adrenaline; it goes without saying that racing and drifting are widely admired sports in the country. Actually, drifting is probably somehow embedded in our DNA. Tokyo has nothing on us; bring it on habayby, any time and any place. One of the main reasons why we can even boast this confidently is because the opportunity for growth, learning, and professional exposure in the world of drifting was granted to us by Red Bull. You would think the world of drifting is all fun and games, and it is, but you can’t even begin to fathom what it take to get there.Given the exclusive opportunity by Red Bull to meet with four of the best drifters in Egypt, Africa, and the entire MENA region, it was finally time to see a more comprehensive perspective of the sport through the eyes of these fully immersed drifters. Like most of you, I used to think it was just this awesome fun sport where cool guys got paid to have exceptional fun playing around with their cars. Here's where I start giving everyone the same reality check I was given. But first let me briefly introduce you to these guys...
Ramy Serry: a legend in the world of cars, racing, and drifting; a name that almost everyone knows by heart.
Ahmed Dessouky: a new star and a rising icon in the world of drifting.
Haitham Samir: another perennial name that has always been one of the top three.
Moataz Atef: one of the oldest people in the business and in many ways even a pioneer.
All four of these guys sprung into the motor world from a very young age. Their experience is as raw and authentic as it could ever get; the engine is their Lego set, the steering wheel is their joy stick, and the car is their life. "Racing to me is not just a sport; it's not just cars; it's not just the driving – racing is life. We race every day; we race to be number one; we race to be the best at our jobs; we race to have the best education; we race to raise our kids in the best way possible. So racing, to me, is about teamwork, dedication, and persistence," enthuses the renowned Ramy Serry. "It's a school; it teaches you a lot. It teaches you patience, it teaches you what hard work is, and it teaches you how to work with different classes of people." Much like any school, is it hard? "Yes," he answers, "it's so hard because it's the most financially straining sport in the world. To get involved in motor sports, your family has to have your back the whole way through."
Red Bull didn’t just set up the annual Car Park Drift venue for these guys to compete, but rather, they adopted these guys and many others into the one place they could ever truly call home. “I only really know that I belong when I am in my car and drifting with my family and friends,” said Ahmed Dessouky. It is fair to say that this annual competition is more of a family reunion; one that is so epic they even invite thousands of people to come observe them as they celebrate their adrenaline-infused gathering. How many sports can say they have the same iconic essence – one venue hosting family performing in front of a family that come together as one? Even Khaled – Serry's 17-year-old son – comes out to support his father, who inspired him to get into motor sports. "It's too bad Red Bull CPD doesn't allow anyone under 18," Serry laughs. "But he's already in the championships and attracting sponsorships, so it feels like I'm passing things on from generation to generation," the proud father beams.Drifters are all unique in style and personality, which in many ways reflects on their performance. Just like any form of art, the more you are emotionally and psychologically immersed into something, the more beauty you are able to convey. Some of these guys are in it for the fame, some are in it for the money, some are in it for the sake of proving themselves to be the best, but all of them are here because they are true artists who use their cars as their brush and the asphalt as their canvas. As the legendary Serry puts it: “The passion and dedication we put into our cars and our driving are the main elements to guarantee we have sketched out the perfect performance.”
It is not an easy plight to be ready for the Red Bull CPD the way you need to be. When it comes to safety regulations, quality, design, and talent, Red Bull doesn't joke around. The thing is, everything is just really expensive, in need of constant change and repair, and time consuming to fix. When you are a drifter, you change the pair of rear tires after each run and, with all the revving, you are so prone to literally breaking your engine. When I say break, I seriously mean crack and fall apart, not just break down. We are talking about some monster engines here, people, they don’t come cheap. Take Haitham Samir, for example; he just broke his engine and is currently working on changing it only three days before the big day. “The car takes a lot of time, effort, and money from us to be perfectly ready, but that is what it takes to be one of the best” says Samir.
Red Bull CPD is almost here and they are ready to welcome all of us in for an experience of a lifetime. White smoke everywhere, screeching tires, and talent beyond belief are all compiled into this one epic day that's going down on June 3rd at 5 PM at Tolip Family Park Hotel; Suez Road. According to one of the most experienced players in the game, Moataz Atef, “the Red Bull CPD is one of a kind because it opens up opportunities for all local talents to showcase their talents and earn the privilege of representing their team and their country on an international level.”
Check out the action on Instagram @RedBullEgypt.
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Photography: Ahmed Najeeb
Cinematography: Mesheal Maged and Mina Saber
Video Editing: Mostafa Gamal