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UAE Desert Challenge 2007 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the UAE Desert Challenge 2007, 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 - back on track.

Teamreport from the UAE-based UK-Team "Saluki": The good news continues in the Saluki Camp. Talk of the camp last night was that Gayle was due to be bringing treacle pudding for our dessert as both she and Tracy are arriving today. Let's hope she's remembered it or the peasants will up in arms, and at this stage of the challenge that's not a good thing.

The camp itself seems more relaxed this year compared to previous challenges. The vehicle's reliable and serviced early, the camp chefs James and Lee have been doing a great job of reheating the food for evening dinner. James seems to have however taken this domestic chore to heart and can constantly be seen cleaning and clearing up the camp. All he needs is the maids outfit, we would be sorted and he'd be in seventh heaven.

Mark it seems has joined this domestic bliss that has descended over the camp, whilst he washed his race underwear in a basin I asked him to brief us on todays race and how it was. Overall it seems that the car and occupants are starting to get used to each other under race conditions. The beginning of the stage saw the Saluki chasing hard through a series of cars. As luck would have it, they then got stuck and lost the ground they had just gained.

The guys got to check out the air cylinders supplied by Tyco International at this point when they had to use them to jack the car up to free themselves from deep sand, as expected they worked a treat. Certainly makes getting yourself free much quicker, which is a pity as we're sure Tims only exercise during the event used to be jacking the car up manually when they were stuck. Give him his due though - he certainly seems to have found a cure for his motion sickness, three days into the event and he's feeling fine.

The Team would like to thank Pieter Van Herpen, a quad rider in the challenge (Rider 75) who whilst the Saluki was stuck, stopped his own race to assist in getting the Saluki underway. Free from their predicament the charge was then on again. As they were charging hard, they had a close call with a rogue vehicle on the route. Avoiding action was taken but as Mark put it - it was a very, very, very close call.

The latter part of todays route was almost the same as yesterdays - the guys both managed to call the correct lines through the dunes with one exception which they called as a Flat Crest - unfortunately it wasn't and the Saluki III went airborne. The spoiler wing on the rear wasn't going to help them - they were influenced by gravity and it was taking over. The bump never really came as the suspension did it's job beautifully and soaked up the drop allowing the Saluki to continue it's charge.

As Mark summed it up - a day of lows and highs, the car is performing incredibly well and is fun to drive, given that they're just getting used to each other it's probably the right choice of vehicle. "We're getting into our rhythm" he finished with, as it was time to hang his underwear on the line to dry. We finished provisionally 12th today.

2007/10/31 | 17:02 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Team Saluki

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