|Abu Dhabi DC: UAE´s Toyota "Team FJ" at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.|
Teamreport Team FJ from UAE: The race calendar for March and April has been compressed in 2012 with three International events being run in close succession.
The "Hail Baja" in Saudi Arabia was quickly followed by the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge" which meant that Teams had only a small amount of time to prepare from one long distance event to another. The "Sealine Qatar Baja" is now scheduled to commence next week, which for the first time will be a 6 day cross country event.
Following engine problems suffered in Hail the Team FJ crew worked a number of long nights in order to prepare the car for the technical inspections of the Abu Dhabi event. The car passed all inspections on the morning of Sunday 1st April and then went on to tackle the qualifying spectator stage which was held on the cornice of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.
Monday morning saw the start of the event proper with a 100 km road section to the special stage start in the undulating desert just outside of the capital city. At approximately 11.30am Team FJ got underway on what was the first 280 km stage of a planned 1700 kms, over 5 continuous days of racing.
The stage followed a similar route to that of the 2011 event and comprised a mixture of fast sand tracks and short sections of unmarked routes through low to medium dune sections.
Shortly after the first passage control, which was 80 km into the stage, the Team noticed that the engine was loosing power and as a result adopted a more conservative driving style in order to get the car to the service point at km 120. Unfortunately just past the 100 km the engine started to make some disturbing noises and the team quickly shut it down, further investigation revealed an irreparable internal failure which meant withdrawal from the event.
As it turned out the first day of the 2012 Desert Challenge proved to be the toughest in the events history with over half of the cars suffering serious problems, 5 vehicles suffered engine failures and may others did not finish due to other technical reasons.
Never the less Team FJ will be back next year, this time with a new and updated race car - keep tuned to the website [ DESERTFJ.COM ] for further details.
2012/04/10 | 14:44 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/TEAM-FJ