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UAE Desert Challenge 2008 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the UAE Desert Challenge 2008, last round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

UAE Desert Challenge: Team Saluki Report 1 - Prologue & Scrutineering.

Yes folks, It's been a year since you last heard about the ups, downs and roll-overs of Team Saluki in last years Desert Challenge. Well the time has come again to keep you informed on how the team performs in this years, our eleventh UAE Desert Challenge which is the final round of the FIA World Cup for cross country rallies.

For those that don't know; We're competing in a two wheel drive, 3.5 Litre V6 VTEC Honda powered buggy built by Fast & Speed based in Holland. Castrol EDGE, Serck Services, Gulf Agency Company (GAC) and Trading Enterprises (Honda) have made this years challenge possible for Team Saluki - Our grateful thanks go out to our sponsors.

Yesterday was documentation where we sign on, pay the money to enter and in return we get some stickers and some equipment to install. You would have thought with the fast paced action of the challenge that this would have been a rather simple task. It seems fast paced doesn't apply when you add bureaucracy and administration. 4, yes 4 hours were wasted standing about waiting like someone at the deli-counter for your number to be called. Not a good start to the rally, lets hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

Today we've been down to scrutineering where the Saluki got a clean bill of health from a safety and readiness basis. Our allocated slot of 2pm again turned into an administration fiasco yet again. Realistically we should have been in and out in about an hour, 2-1/2 hours later we finally get out ready to race.

Looks like Paul and his chauffeur Mark had better get used to having cameras in their face if the scrutineering is anything to go by.
No comment !

This year supporting Team Saluki we have a compact but focused crew.

James - Service Manager
Martin - Service
Rick - Spanner monkey
Leno - Spanner monkey
Tracie - Media Witch-(Whipping the TV crews into shape)
Craig - Technical communications
Keith - International updates

Oh yes - and there's a couple of guys along for the ride - Paul the co-pilot and Mark the driver who's job it is to chauffeur Paul about in the dunes for the next six days. Also joining us this year we have Simon who is out to cover the team for a magazine and we also have two TV crews (Thomson Grass Valley and City7) who are out covering Team Saluki so our coverage this year should be exceptional. It's the prologue tomorrow which is being held at a Motocross circuit which should be interesting. We're all looking forward to it.

October 26th - Back in Black

It's the day of the prologue which this year instead of some scrub land is taking place on the Jebel Ali Moto-Cross track.

Tight twisty turns and lots of bumps meant an interesting course - especially for something like the Saluki and it's slightly wider wheel base. Lots of people were having problems with a particular corner in-between a couple of the jumps and the Saluki was no exception. Finding themselves running wide, the guys opted to run over the mound that was causing them problem and decided to run through a section of the course they had already completed. Coming into the same corner the second time around it was straight through this time no problems. The rest of the run was completed without problems.

No comment !
This additional section of the course that the guys completed twice meant that they travelled further than anyone else in the prologue taking them to 36th place out of 37 cars. Not really a problem as tomorrow will be a cracking day as the guys have 35 other entrants to set their sights on to hunt down and pass. If ever there was a target - tomorrow's the day.

The sun has obviously been playing tricks with some of the supporting crew from the Challenge and especially a member of the forward sweep team - Streaky (for that is his name) has taken to protecting his skin with some novel attachments for his sunglasses. Elvis is alive and well and working in Dubai.

To keep the team motivated before we leave for the desert tomorrow morning we've tried a multitude of things with varying success but you should have seen the effort put in when we had some "rev-head" Australian visitors to the Kennel last night. They came bearing gifts in the manner of home made chocolate fudge. Absolutely divine it was. We had a second shipment dropped off this morning to keep us going - Many thanks Lynn and Brian.

The team have just came back from the prologue, it's late at night here and it's an "Oh my God what time is it" start tomorrow morning. Wheels will be moving by 5:15 for some of us who have to pick up camera crews etc and off to the Emirates Palace Hotel for the ceremonial start. We will of course keep you posted on our progress but I fear enthusiasm may drop because the fudge will be finished by then.

Learn more about the Team at [ ].

2008/10/27 | 15:14 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Team Saluki

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