It's that time of the year when the dog is let loose from its kennel to locate and hunt down the prey as it takes part in the U.A.E. Desert Challenge

The preparations have taken almost a year but the last couple of days have seen it all coming together for Team Saluki. The European support team have flown in and have been making sure the car is running at it's optimum and the local support teams have been pulling together all the resources required to ensure that all will run smoothly for Team Saluki during the challenge.

An update of what we've been upto. You would have had it sooner but a certain airline delayed some essential baggage for over two days.

Yesterday, Team Saluki had to sign-on as an official entry to the Desert Challenge event. This requirement ensures that both the driver and navigator are qualified to take part in the event. As expected, no problems were experienced and the guys are good to go. Mark & Tim signing on at Rally control.

With the documentation all in order, it gave the team an opportunity to take the Saluki out for a last shakedown. The shake down did exactly what it was supposed to do - identify any potential problems with the car that are not evident when the car is stationary. It was a worthwhile excercise as it identified a small electrical fault with the ignition circuit which was quickly recitified by the support team allowing the Saluki to continue with the shakedown. The Saluki during the shakedown.

With the drivers having been cleared to drive, it was the Saluki's turn to be checked over to see it meets all the current FIA regulations. The scrutineering was held at the same location as last year - in the middle of the Ibn Battuta shopping Mall. The Saluki's an impressive site when it drives through the entrance to the mall, through one of the shops and then stops to be checked over.

The Saluki drives through the mall.

The Saluki passes the scrutineering with flying colours and is eligible to take part in the challenge.

This evening the support teams are packing up and getting ready to hit the road for the prologue tomorrow where the starting positions will be sorted out between competitors.

The pressures building and the Saluki is straining on it's leash to be let loose.