EMIRATI DRIVER NEEDS SPONSOR BOOST TO CONTINUE DESERT PATROL
After battling UAE Desert Challenge display in standard Nissan Patrol, Bin sougat seeks backing to stay in rallying
Just a week after his battling performance in the UAE Desert Challenge, Emirati driver Abdulbari Bin Sougat has admitted that lack of sponsorship may force him out of rallying.
In an event dominated by the world's top professional teams and drivers, Bin Sougat took a standard Nissan Patrol to 12th position overall, and he wants to use that performance as the springboard to bigger things in the future.
His was one of six Nissan Patrols which passed the grueling 2,210-km test the event set for cars and drivers across some of the most demanding desert terrain in the world.
But Bin Sougat said: "The problem is that I don't have a sponsor. The only support I received for the Desert Challenge came from a friend who gave me five wheel rims.
Two other Nissan Patrols, driven by New Zealander Glen Reid and Germany lady rally star Andrea Mayer, also finished in the top 20. Three more Patrols entered by the UAE's Ali Al Shawi and Michael Ziegler, and Russian Artem Naslednikov, also went the distance.
With Frenchmen Rodolphe Lavoise, and Laurent and Joseph Rosso, also completing the event in a trio of Nissan Pathfinders, Nissan had more than double the number of finishers compared with any other manufacturer.
Already looking ahead to next year's event, Bin Sougat "I would like to try again and if I had a big sponsor I might do other cross country rallies overseas. But without sponsorship it is very hard to keep going."
Bin Sougat, who is head of marketing in the Dubai Land Department, almost missed the 17th UAE Desert Challenge when his modified engine broke down on the eve of the rally.
He managed to get a standard engine fitted just in time to make the start, and his local knowledge of desert driving conditions combined with the reliability of his Nissan Patrol saw him leave a trail of more experienced drivers behind.
Almost immediately, Emirates Automobile and Touring Club president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has begun planning ahead for next year's Desert Challenge, and in the months ahead a fleet of Nissan Patrols will be used to carve out the 2008 route in the Empty Quarter.