I drop by Al Futtaim showroom on an afternoon to be greeted by Ahmed Al Ameri, a pleasant gentleman, the face of drifting in the UAE. He gets to tell us his story and gives us a glimpse about the future plans of ‘Toyota Emirates Drifting Team’; a joint endeavor between Al Futtaim and Emirates Drifting Team.
We sat right next to that pre-market orange 86 decorated with his trophies and victories as he tells how Motorsports shaped his life.
Ahmed Al Ameri’s passion with cars was ignited at a young age with his fascination in his older brother’s Toyota Supra, which later became his first car. This was how his passion for Japanese performance got ignited which encouraged him to move to Tokyo in 2002 to pursue a degree in Economy & Business Management Studies. Japan was the place where he started fully developing his motorsport career; first competing in drag races with a Toyota Mark II, later participating in time attacks in a Lexus IS200 that was later modified to be used in drifting. Carefully managing his budget, at times even compromising his other needs, for the sake of Car & Competition. It was a long and fruitful journey for Ahmed Al Ameri, in Japan; filled with successes and hardships alike.
After moving back to Dubai in 2008. Al Ameri felt this void that desperately needs to be filled. It was a time when motorsport was almost dead in the UAE. There was no place to really compete and no proper establishments with the ambitions to build a real Motorsports career locally. He started building a personal car, a Toyota Soarer, in hopes things might evolve someday.
Things started materializing and growing since 2010 with Samer Khadra, of SSK, and Al Ameri finding out about each others’ potential & joining forces. Later on, Mohammed Al Falasi from Motorsport Solutions, with his ingenuity, arrives on the scene. Together they manage to drag Motorsports away from a near death experience here in the UAE.
Now big plans are being made for the Future such as Prodrift Academy, a collaboration between Motorsport Solutions and King of Europe, is expected to launch during the coming October; offering support, advice and competitively priced packages to those wanting to advance their driving & racing skills. Finding passionate drivers is no issue, there are plenty enthusiasts wanting to see the light. All it takes is putting all this potential in the right place.
Lately, Toyota Emirates Drifting Team acquired a Toyota 86 which is being built, as we speak, to an FIA approved drift machine with a power output of 500 to 600 wheel horsepower in mind. Al Ameri, in full FIA outfit, will be piloting the machine.
TEDT’s 86 is planned to be finished within the end of August as to participate in the upcoming Red Bull Middle East & Africa Car Park Drift. There are three engine drop choices that will be chosen from. All three engine choices are going to be Toyota units.
We weren’t told which ones or what kind of setup will be used; we can leave the guess work to you guys as he wanted to keep it as a secret.
Overall, it was great to finally meet Al Ameri in person and get a peek at how his efforts & that of TEDT are shaping the future of Motorsports in the region. This will pave way for future talent & puts it off the streets.