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Future F1 stars from the Middle East? What's up with the Arab drifting videos?


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#1 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 22:57

I've watched the odd "Arab drifting" video, probably like most. Today I watched some that really impressed me. I don't mean to promote these guys, but do you know how hard it is to drift in FWD cars?

This is some amazing car control.

http://www.liveleak....=db0_1187406779

What's the deal with these videos, anyway? Is it rich kids? Hoodlums with stolen cars? Gawd that looks both dangerous and fun.

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#2 silver fan

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 23:18

Nice vid. Insanely rich kids for the most part, friend of mine spent a couple of years working in the Middle East for the most part based in Riyadh, he reckoned the Drifting scene was easily on a par with what you would find in Japan.

#3 Spunout

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 00:52

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker
I've watched the odd "Arab drifting" video, probably like most. Today I watched some that really impressed me. I don't mean to promote these guys, but do you know how hard it is to drift in FWD cars?


The cars you see on this vid are set up for drifting.

This is some amazing car control.


To me amazing car control is...well, car control. Not sliding back and forth before spinning. I am not saying drifting doesn´t take any skill at all, but IMO this is not in the same ballpark with stuff race car drivers do in several categories, as we speak. "Stunts" may look more spectacular, but that has never been particularly good measure of skill. Want to see truly great car control that almost looks easy? I´d start from Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, etc.

#4 Spunout

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:08

Love spectacular drifting and danger? Check out this:



;)

#5 Jason

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:14

Looks like they get they drifting skills honed at an early age: http://www.liveleak....=417_1180766503
:lol:

#6 Jason

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:18

Originally posted by Spunout


The cars you see on this vid are set up for drifting.

To me amazing car control is...well, car control. Not sliding back and forth before spinning. I am not saying drifting doesn´t take any skill at all, but IMO this is not in the same ballpark with stuff race car drivers do in several categories, as we speak. "Stunts" may look more spectacular, but that has never been particularly good measure of skill. Want to see truly great car control that almost looks easy? I´d start from Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, etc.

I agree. Induced drifts are different than controlling a car on the limit. Basically the skills these drivers displayed is more akin to something used in the WRC rather than in F1.

#7 Spunout

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:24

Originally posted by Jason

I agree. Induced drifts are different than controlling a car on the limit. Basically the skills these drivers displayed is more akin to something used in the WRC rather than in F1.


The difference is WRC drivers are doing it on the absolute limit, while aiming for fastest possible way to get around turns (hence, the limit!!!)...with error margins of few inches.

#8 Jason

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:37

Originally posted by Spunout


With the difference that WRC drivers are doing it on the absolute limit, while aiming for fastest possible way to get around turns (hence, the limit!!!)...with error margins of few inches.

Well I did say "more akin to" which is not to say they are the same by any means. :p
Drifting a car set up to drift isn't that impressive, especially when the margin of error is as large as the one in that video.

#9 Spunout

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:07

Originally posted by Jason

Well I did say "more akin to" which is not to say they are the same by any means. :p


Fair enough :D

#10 pingu666

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:19

theres drifting compertions isnt there ?:)

#11 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:44

Originally posted by Spunout
Love spectacular drifting and danger? Check out this:



;)


Sorry, dude. After en entire minute, not a single car was seen on screen. If I wanted to watch dust clouds while listening to jazz piano...

#12 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:49

OK I didn't know that the cars were specially prepared. The videos have an air of improvisation about them. But if it's rich people, they obviously can afford sway bars or whatever helps the cars get loose.

OTOH, if it's insanely rich kids, why aren't they playing with Porshes, or at least RWD cars?

Has anyone on this forum ever gotten a car up on two wheels? Gone around a roundabout on two wheels?

Also, as far as inches to spare, what about those trucks that they're using literally as moving chicanes? Granted, they're creating the danger for themselves, but they're within inches of those behemoths.

#13 DigDig

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 03:33

Didn't expect those crazy Saudies to make it on here. Those are all from Saudi Arabia not the Middle east in general. Some of it does happen it the u.a.e though. As far as i know those cars not really set up any differently, its either rich kids buying those cars and thrashing them or regular dudes renting them for the same objective.

As for any open wheel talents coming up, That would have been impossible before having the GP in Bahrain. Since then though We got Hamad Al Fardan in F3 and moving into the Asian GP2 next year and former Asian Formula Bmw Champion Salman Al Khalifa. Those i doubt have any chance is F1 but theres news about younger guys going up the rank (two 15 year olds). Either way IMO talent development will shoot up after the opening of the new multi million Karting Track (Indoor/outdoor) in the Sakhir Track.

Oh there's probably some good videos out there of supercar races if you look for them too. I guess they dont give high-end cars the same treatment as they know they're worth ;)

#14 mclarensmps

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:26

The SUV's in the balancing act videos are all stock FYI.

#15 cordell777

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 05:13

Originally posted by Spunout
Love spectacular drifting and danger? Check out this:



;)

+1 :smoking:

#16 milliepuppy

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:23

link

.... this ones quite spectacular ... looking at this and many of the clips on youtube like it there really does seem to be a lack of value placed on ones life ... both the participants and spectators !!!

#17 Josta

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:49

Originally posted by pingu666
theres drifting compertions isnt there ?:)


There certainly are. I watched the European drifting championship on motors the other week and it looked like the most fun you could have on 4 wheels. The kids on the videos shown are nothing compared to these guys. Shane Lynch from Boyzone is one of the drivers.

http://www.europeand...hampionship.eu/

#18 Tombu

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 08:26

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker


Sorry, dude. After en entire minute, not a single car was seen on screen. If I wanted to watch dust clouds while listening to jazz piano...


Heh, the first shot of the car came in at 1:02. So your attention span ran out just when the action started. Btw, how do you cope with the opening credits of movies? :smoking:

#19 Spunout

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 09:40

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker

Also, as far as inches to spare, what about those trucks that they're using literally as moving chicanes? Granted, they're creating the danger for themselves, but they're within inches of those behemoths.


Exactly. When rally drivers are sliding, that happens because they are on the limit. Not because they make the car drift to look cool. They are close to the walls/trees/1000-feet dropoff because that´s the inevitable consequence of being on the limit. There is no grip to spare, and that makes it thousand times more difficult.

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#20 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 12:38

Originally posted by Tombu
Btw, how do you cope with the opening credits of movies? :smoking:


This brand new invention called fast forward.

Works quite well on actual DiVX movies, which are quite long. On YT one can apparently only change spots in big chunks, thus the frustration.

Seriously though, the first 20 seconds or so were all about the awards this film got, and then the dust clouds and jazz piano. There have to be youtube clips that feature great action that aren't also trying to be art films.

#21 kyriakos75

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 15:24

Originally posted by Spunout


The difference is WRC drivers are doing it on the absolute limit, while aiming for fastest possible way to get around turns (hence, the limit!!!)...with error margins of few inches.


On the other hand they do it in roll cages, with helmets and six point safety belts, which offer some safety (not 100% obviously).

Whereas these kids are really playing with their lives. Perhaps because in their culture they have nothing better to do?

#22 Spunout

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 16:54

Originally posted by kyriakos75


On the other hand they do it in roll cages, with helmets and six point safety belts, which offer some safety (not 100% obviously).

Whereas these kids are really playing with their lives. Perhaps because in their culture they have nothing better to do?


WRC appears relatively safe mostly because the drivers are damn good. Mess up in wrong place and you´ll hit something at 200 KPH, with tragic consequenses. And the margin of error is often no more than few inches. And I have to repeat being on the limit makes huge difference. It is one thing to play around and completely another to enter corners at maximum speed, meaning small tap on throttle or brake is the difference between "making it" and crashing out. The same thing with F1; add lesser drivers and you´ll have people getting killed every year. In this vid they (RIP, I guess) had wide runway with loads of space, and no stones/branches/bumps/etc on the way.

But the danger was there, in the form of non-professional drivers.

I haven´t seen anything particularly impressive thus far. We aren´t even close to the point where it can be discussed if these street racers should try their luck in top level racing series. Personally, I´d rather see them in go-karts or racing schools. But...if they prefer this, fine - as long as we´re talking about closed places. Doing stunts on public streets is not cool. I have seen enough people die thanks to morons who choose to "race" around city blocks instead of getting their a***s handed back to them by juniors who know how to do it properly.



#23 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 19:47

Originally posted by kyriakos75


On the other hand they do it in roll cages, with helmets and six point safety belts, which offer some safety (not 100% obviously).

Whereas these kids are really playing with their lives. Perhaps because in their culture they have nothing better to do?


Oh. My. God.

Alert: I am now exploring an area that might be outside of political correctness.

I thought about this. First off there's no alcohol consumption allowed in Islam, and it's damn hard to find in the Arabian Peninsula. I tried to put myself in their shoes, and yeah, not only does that look like fun, if it was one of if not the only vice available to me, I would probably do it, too. I am not a big fan of alcohol or recreational drugs. Young people especially need outlets for their "wild & cwazy" times.

Secondly, this is the same (overall, very broadly) culture where many suicide bombers come from. Not to say they come from the upper strata of Saudi society, just Arab countries. Maybe these kids are just so bored they don't care? The attitude kind of also reminds me of the attitude of "inner city" youth. Very little respect for human life or property.

I dunno. Is it considered extra cool to do those stunts without seatbelts on? Were the occupants just dumb cocky kids? Is seat belt use simply not widespread by anyone in that culture? Whatever the reason, seeing those two bodies fly through the air like that made me want to think of a reason why someone would do that.

Frankly, I think those kids do have some skills that would translate to various forms of racing. By this I mean mostly hand/eye coordination and, yes, vehicle control at the edge.

However I reckon there's one thing many don't have, and that's discipline. However I bet there are a few out there who take this car driving stuff seriously, actually practice, wear their seatbelts, and one day dream of driving for money.

#24 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 19:54

Not to beat a dead horse here, but apparently this "Arab Drift" phenomenon is called "Hagwalah."

In keeping with the suicide bomber meme, I have also noticed the word "Erhabe" superimposed in some of those videos. I believe that means "terrorist" in arabic, though I am no scholar.

#25 Spunout

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 20:29

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker
Not to beat a dead horse here, but apparently this "Arab Drift" phenomenon is called "Hagwalah."

In keeping with the suicide bomber meme, I have also noticed the word "Erhabe" superimposed in some of those videos. I believe that means "terrorist" in arabic, though I am no scholar.


Apparently it´s slang word. In this context, nothing to do with terrorism. I guess it´s bit like Jihad, which is often automatically translated as Holy War. In reality, Jihad can mean number of things.

Frankly, I think those kids do have some skills that would translate to various forms of racing. By this I mean mostly hand/eye coordination and, yes, vehicle control at the edge.



Hmm. I didn´t see any car control at the edge (on the limit) in this videos. In racing sliding happens because you reach the edge of adhesion, not for the sake of it. Different thing, trust me...

To me one key element and real defining word is precision. In most cases wild and spectacular suggests lack of car control. Being on the limit without getting into situation where amazing save is needed, THAT´S car control. Obviously in "drifting" spectacular is part of the game, but precision is still important. It is unclear if these guys could do it properly. And it is unclear if top drifting specialists would succeed in (top level) racing.

However I bet there are a few out there who take this car driving stuff seriously, actually practice, wear their seatbelts, and one day dream of driving for money.



Surprisingly many of "street racers" aren´t willing to go for it, even if given the opportunity. The problem is clock doesn´t give you mercy; with your buddies and home-tuned car, you´re the king of the gang. Oh, racing is boring. This is sooo much more interesting (says dude who has never tried it). On race track you have to walk the walk. How embarrassing it would be for local Michael Schumacher to get beaten by some 15-year old kid?

#26 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 21:31

Originally posted by Spunout


The cars you see on this vid are set up for drifting.


I have read that most of the vehicles used in this manner are actually rental cars. How can you tell the difference?

#27 pingu666

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 22:49

dang you can hear them go splat :eek: :cry:

#28 Mauseri

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 22:58

I wonder if an arab F1 driver would wear that thing over or under his helmet ;)

Impressive drifting, but I'm not really fan of this. I like more moving forward on a twisty road, and FAST!

#29 turin

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 23:07

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker


Oh. My. God.

Alert: I am now exploring an area that might be outside of political correctness.

...


You are letting the "suicide bomber etc" cloud your reasoning.

This is hardly different to any <insert country of choice > kid doing stunts on their bmx, mountain bikes, skates or whatever. Google bike accidents and you will find people doing some pretty stupid things just for the sake of adrenaline.

Jackasses are inherent to human kind, not a specific culture.

#30 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:41

Eh, you're right.

And just to prove your point, which is well taken,



Also, I just hung out at my next door neighbor's house and he had some video of him thrashing a rental car this past weekend.

Apparently there's a sub-culture in Riyadh that produces the majority of these videos. It just happens to be fairly well documented. The same sub-culture probably exists in Atlanta, Denver, and Bangor, too. But they're not able to do it with as much impunity I bet.

#31 turin

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 05:52

:up: I wish everybody on these fora would be as open to change their POV as you have done here. Kudos.

#32 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:10

Originally posted by turin
:up: I wish everybody on these fora would be as open to change their POV as you have done here. Kudos.


I know, right?

Everyone's doing the best they can.

#33 Lontano

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:50

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker


Sorry, dude. After en entire minute, not a single car was seen on screen. If I wanted to watch dust clouds while listening to jazz piano...


did you manage to see this??