Abed Kahwaji drifts his car on Sunday 18 June. (The Daily Star/Betsy Joles)
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In a car park in Burj Hammoud along the coastal highway a fully equipped fleet of street-racing cars turned a sleepy Sunday into a full throttle day of drifting.Akl started YASA in 1996 when his cousin Andre Akl died in a street-racing accident. Akl said street safety has improved with more opportunities for youth to practice racing in controlled environments like racetracks and training facilities since he started the organization 20 years ago.The men who drove Sunday aren't kids playing with stock cars anymore though – costing around $100,000 complete with 10 cylinder, 800-horsepower motors and roll cages, these are lean, mean, tuned-up drifting machines not made for use on the street.Kabakiam said she's using the page, which now has 6,000 followers, to organize bimonthly events and make sure people understand the difference between professional drifting and risky behavior in the streets.While the organization works to improve enforcement, freestyle racing continues to be popular in Lebanon, posing a risk to both racers and drivers.
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