Lebanon News

Lebanese petrolheads drift to let off steam

A man participates in a drifting competition in Sidon, Feb. 2, 2020. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: Lebanese petrolheads Sunday found a unique way to express their anger at deteriorating living conditions by jumping into their modified sports cars and burning rubber. Drift Mania Lebanon organized a drifting competition in the southern port town of Sidon called “Let Off Steam,” in which more than 20 drivers battled it out for the top spot.

Their souped-up cars whizzed round the track at Sidon’s Funny World amusement park to a cheering crowd of fans of all ages.

“Everyone is protesting and expressing themselves in their own way ... drifting is both a sport and an outlet,” the event’s organizer Hisham Saad told The Daily Star.

He called on would-be drifters to safely practice the sport on specially designated tracks, rather than on public roads, to reduce the risk of deadly accidents.

Cynthia Lyane, the only female driver, said she first got involved in drifting more than four years ago, and has since gone on to win the Lebanese women’s championship.

“My family and husband really encourage me to participate,” she said, encouraging all girls to give the sport a try.

“It helps me forget my worries.”

Another racer, who did not give his name, also said his drifting hobby was an escape from the difficult economic conditions that are affecting people across the country.

“We drift cars so that we do not drown in our troubles,” he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 03, 2020, on page 2.




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