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Footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's hand-eye coordination helped him learn drift racing in Jordan

The goalkeeper is a huge fan of race cars, and loves playing car games.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 09, 2019, 05.00 PM IST
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​Drifting on the beautiful mountain roads of Jordan also lead Gurpreet Singh​ to end up in a ditch. ​
Drifting on the beautiful mountain roads of Jordan also lead Gurpreet Singh to end up in a ditch.
Indian football star, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was in Jordan a couple of months ago where he learnt drift racing. It is one of the fasting growing motorsports in the Middle East inspired by Japanese street racers in the 1970s. It evolved into a mainstream international sport in the early 2000s. In recent years it has gained popularity, particularly across Jordan. Ahmad Daham, Red Bull's drifting champion was Singh's teacher.

The 27-year-old told ET Panache, "It was an amazing experience to be in Jordan with Ahmad Daham, undoubtedly the best drifter in the Middle East. I hadn’t experienced drifting in real life. I love driving. I am a huge fan of race cars, and I love playing car games. But I hadn’t experienced anything like this before. Nothing we did came close to what Ahmad does on a daily basis."

He explained that in drift racing, instead of driving straight like in conventional racing, the car is steered sideways to intentionally lose traction on the wheels. With prolonged skidding and a rapid build-up of friction, the tyres of drift cars are burnt through within a few minutes. All the action happened at the Madaba Circuit in Amman, Jordan.

​Ahmad Daham, Red Bull's drifting champion, was Gurpreet ​Singh's teacher.​
Ahmad Daham, Red Bull's drifting champion, was Gurpreet Singh's teacher.

"I went through a thrilling experience of learning from Daham how to do donuts, the figure of eight and drift around a corner on the track on a 700 horsepower car. I hitched a ride with Daham for an experience of a lifetime when we both drifted through locations like Namala Road, Wadi Rum and was dropped off at the Dead Sea," he said.

Drifting on the beautiful mountain roads of Jordan also lead the goalkeeper to end up in a ditch. It was one of the most memorable moment from the drifting experience for him. "It was my first car crash ever while in the passenger seat. It was a scary and thrilling experience. I would definitely want to explore more with motorsports, with cars especially," Singh said.

There was learning which the star will apply to his time at the football net. And there was also football skills that helped him in this task. "Drifting is very difficult because it needs you to be really good at measuring the speed and distance with good hand-eye coordination, whereas in goalkeeping it’s more about how much one can do physically. Goalkeepers put a lot of effort to improve hand-eye coordination. My training in hand-eye coordination helped me to do multiple things in a single moment while I was behind the wheel of the drift car," he ended.

Planning A Trip With The Boys? These Iconic Venues Will Turn It Into A Football Pilgrimage

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Iconic Stadia For Your Next Trip

15 Nov, 2019
Sunday league football can be a messy affair – beer breaks, dad bods, badly-timed tackles, and risqué jokes. But for most amateurs who take to the turf in their downtime, kicking about on a weekend is their idea of bonding with friends with a shared passion for football. From winding tunnels and dingy dressing rooms to vertical stands that offer a view of the ocean, here are a few iconic stadia, a visit to which can transform your next boys’ trip into a footballing pilgrimage.
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