• 4
Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi - Click above for high-res image gallery

After wrapping up the 2010 Formula Drift season (Vaughn Gittin Jr. took the podium, with Tanner Foust and Ryan Tuerck second and third overall), a handful of selected professional drifters loaded their cars into steel 40-foot containers and shipped them to the Middle East for the inaugural Formula Drift UAE Invitational in Abu Dhabi.

While the locals in that part of the world aren't strangers to wild car antics (as evident from those popular, yet crazy Middle East YouTube videos), the Invitational was formatted to introduce the locals to professional drifting - in a safe and controlled manner. The chosen venue was the new Yas Marina Circuit, designed and built for Formula One (interestingly enough, the Formula Drift guys were the first to every lay "drifting" rubber down on its fresh surface).

In addition to the main event, there was a media day (with ride-alongs), a karting competition (Tanner Foust set the all-time lap record), a visit to Ferrari World and a drag competition with locals. And, to help the local competitors, Tony Brakohiapa and Michael Essa taught drifting techniques to ten drivers from the local SSK Drift Club (four were eventually chosen to participate in demo during the main event).

The next stop for drivers Chris Forsberg, Tanner Foust, Michael Essa, Tony Brakohiapa, Fredric Aasbo, Mike Whiddett and Daijiro Yoshihara is the Qatar Racing Club in Doha, Qatar, for the inaugural Formula Drift Global Challenge on March 18, 2011.


Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • The cars of Formula Drift at the Yas Marina drag strip.

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • The cars of Formula Drift at the main event

  • The cars of Formula Drift
  • The cars of Formula Drift at the main event

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • The cars of Formula Drift at the main event

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Yas Marina Hotel, Abu Dhabi

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Yas Marina Hotel, Abu Dhabi

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Tanner Foust, Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Tanner Foust, Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Tanner Foust, Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Kart Track (Tanner Foust set the all-time track record)

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Michael Essa meets the locals

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • With Rod Fuller, NHRA Top Fuel dragster driver

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Formula Drift drivers at Ferrari World

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Driver Meeting

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Formula Drift drivers at Ferrari World

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Formula Drift driver meeting

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Winners from Karting, Tanner Foust (1), Mad Mike Whiddett (2), Fredrik Osbow (3).

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R at the drag strip

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • GSR Autosport 350R

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett and Michael Essa

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett and Michael Essa

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Mad Mike Whiddett and Michael Essa

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Ryan Tuerck

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Fredric Aasbo

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Chris Forsberg

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Tony Brakohiapa

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Tanner Foust

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Ryan Tuerck

  • Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011
  • Michael Essa and the GSR Autosport 350R


Photos copyright ©2011 Formula Drift / Ashley Glover / Nick Richards

[Source: Formula Drift]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      i klicked through the gallery and my thoughts were: hmm that costs a lot of money...and that merc and that and and and......;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I bet the Dubai locals in their white 2006 Sonatas can school these pros in drifting. lol