Drifting icon Abdo Feghali Drifts the Streets of Durban
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Minitown, a miniature city modelled after and located in Durban, serves as one of the city’s most iconic beach front tourist destinations. In recent months, this hip-height replica became the set of every car-loving kid’s dream playground while the real city became the set of every petrolhead’s fantasy joy ride in a film project by Red Bull titled “Never Stop Playing”. The film project will make its debut on the 22nd of July 2021 on redbull.co.za.
Drifting in Durban
Abdo ‘Dado’ Feghali, who stars in the short film, is a Lebanese triple champion rally driver and key player in the Red Bull Car Park Drift scene. Starting his career in 1998, his persona of ‘Dado’ as a legendary drifter has steadily grown in the Middle East and around the world. One of Feghali’s standout achievements is breaking the Guinness World Record in 2013 for the longest continuous drift in Abu Dhabi, covering an incredible 11,180 metres.
Glimpses of what’s to come from the film have already made their way to social media with Durban residents lucky enough to witness a street racing car doing what most South African motorists only dream of doing; clips casually showing off by drifting circles around minibus taxis in the city. One of the captions proudly read “Only in Mzansi” and then proceeded to go viral, with many South Africans commenting their love for the cheekiness behind the act. It all went down during the shoot and Feghali himself was the expert behind the wheel.
“The team on the project showed me the concept and I loved it immediately”, says Feghali. The basic premise of the short film is to have a child racing a remote-controlled race car around the roads of Minitown, while Feghali drifts the real Durban streets as its counterpart. “Thankfully, it was a really successful shoot, and I can’t wait to see the finished product”.
The film production spanned across multiple locations in Durban with one of the most iconic location chosen being in alongside the majestic City Hall in the CBD. Crowds of passing by pedestrians, which proved to be a challenge for the crew to contain, gathered in awe to witness as Abdo swerve and spin in the scorching Kwa-Zulu Natal sun.
During the time of the shoot, another big event was brewing on the streets of Durban, the Red Bull Car Park Drift. Feghali has long been an active player in the competition, which started in Lebanon in 2008. He noted that this was the first time that a qualifier was held in South Africa and shared his impressions on the local drivers. “I was so happy to introduce the competition to the country and meet all the drifters from SA, the talent was better than I had imagined. From the qualifying rounds, I could tell we would have a great event on our hands”.
Feghali, one of a panel of five judges on the day, commented that he “is looking forward to having the event in SA again next year.”
Speaking on the challenges of Covid-19 and plans moving forward, he explains that “It affected everything all over the world, but luckily we still managed to have four events last year. We’ve already had 3 this year and there are more to come in different parts of the world, ending the year in Ireland. Soon, Feghali is set to appear at the Car Park Drift World Final, taking place on the 29th of October in Egypt. Freshly qualified McFarlane will also be there, representing South Africa.