Following on from yesterdays communication it seems that Paul doesn't have a jinx after all. There were no blown engines when the Saluki guys returned to camp in the dark last night. There was at least progress on the recovery, however not all news is good news. They found the truck easy enough and with the use of sand ladders, had the truck out and moving in 10 minutes. Going cross country to locate the stuck car (remember - the one with the blown engine) they hooked the truck up and pulled. However, due to the dunes, it wasn't pulling straight. Instead it ended up pulling at 90 degrees. The result was that the tyres were pulled off their rims on the front of the car just before the recovery point snapped. Which is not a good thing to happen when you're trying to recover the car. The tyres were relatively simple to put back on, the recovery rope attached to the chassis and they easily extract the car this time.
However (and you knew there was a however coming didn't you), on a tricky section, the truck that's now pulling the car through the dunes went over a crest and ended up on two wheels, sliding down to the right it proceeded to pull one of their truck tyres off the rim. The truck is now at 45 degrees, a tyre is missing from its wheel and that means that the recovered car is also stuck. Can things get worse - of course they can - it's the desert. It seems that the bottle-jacks that truck carries aren't quite tall enough to reach the axles so we've got no possibility of changing the wheel. The recovery guys decide to call it a night and return in the morning with the required tools - and a bigger jack.
The other members of Team Saluki have been busy today following the race but also making sure that camera crews who are filming the team are getting to the right locations they need to be. They were filming in the camp yesterday evening and covered yours truly. I'll be the first to admit - I've got a face for radio and I hope that the footage ends up on the cutting room floor.
For the racing - both the Team Bowler and Icon cars have been running well and completed the course successfully although the support crew from Bowler provided assistance to Team Icons vehicle after the stage which had run out of fuel on the way back to the bivouac. It was soon on its way with a couple of gallons of go go juice.
Even in the evening Team Saluki seem to be busy even though we don't have a vehicle running now - We've been providing assistance in a couple of ways. Again other competitors have been seeking assistance about Castrol EDGE lubricants and we installed an in-car camera for a TV production for Team Bowler.
Provisional times for Team Bowler are Car 206 - 37h 47'50sec, Car 212 - 44h 33'28 sec and for Team Icon - 34h 12'03sec.
Tomorrows update will as always be late. We've got an early start to leave Liwa whilst the race heads back to Dubai. It's a late day so expect the next update covering the last day of the challenge to be winging your way on Saturday morning Dubai time.
Regards Team Saluki