Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Emirates Motorsports Organization, announced on January 29, 2020 that all drifting rivals in the UAE will hold EMSO licenses from this year as part of an FIA-backed scheme to enhance governance and safety in the sport.
“The UAE is very much the drifting capital of the region for this famous and fast-growing sport so it’s essential that we have the highest levels of global safety standards,” stated Sulayem, the multiple former Middle East rally champion.
Among the first holders of the new EMSO drifting licence is Mohammed Hassan Al Mansoori, the Emirati competitor who will contest the first round of the Oman International Drift Championship this weekend in Muscat.
Drifting originated in Japan in the 1970s and has grown rapidly in popularity across the world. Unlike other forms of motorsport, the driver deliberately oversteers and the winner is based on marks awarded by judges for speed, angle, showmanship and the line taken via a series of corners.
Sulayem, in his potential as FIA Vice President for the MENA region, was responsible for submitting a proposal to the World Motorsport Council which led to the FIA, motor sport’s world governing body, taking over the governance of the discipline.
A formal FIA Drifting Commission has now been mounted and the EMSO has nominated Emirati drifting specialist Mohammed Al Falasi to be the regional member on this body which sets the international standards for the sport.
“This is a welcome development for our game as we presently have over 100 drivers in the UAE, and around ten drifting events will be held in the Emirates,” stated Al Falasi.
Drifting is now well hooked up as the second most famous motor sport discipline in the MENA region after karting, and Sulayem is dedicated to guiding its further growth.
Discussions on the sport’s future development will take place in the presence of FIA President Jean Todt at the FIA MENA Congress to be hosted in Oman subsequent month.