We don't know how to say this so we'll just say it as it is. The dog is dead.

Following on from yesterdays problem, the investigation last night by the spanner monkeys revealed that a piston had decided to melt which caused a catastrophic failure of the engine. The end result is that Team Saluki are out of the challenge for this year since we can't change the engine according to the rules of the FIA.

If you don't understand the workings of the internal combustion engine let Team Saluki explain faulty pistons to you and why they can dash your hopes in this years challenge. The piston goes up and there's a bang, the piston goes down again causing your wheels to go round. The centre piston in the picture below obviously didn't like doing this repetitive task which has caused the disintegration and breakdown of the normally smooth piston face. The result - one dead car.

To paraphrase Monty Python - This one is an ex-piston, it has gone to meet it's maker, it has parted this world.

Dead as a Dodo

The mood last night in the camp was strange - we knew we couldn't continue - we knew a lot of effort had been put into this once a year event - what could we do. We didn't want to upsticks and leave the bivouvac so we've opted to remain in the desert and follow the race. Mark, now that his duties as a chauffeur have been curtailed has been asked to provide commentary on the race to the film crews who were following Team Saluki.

As mentioned briefly last night - the campsite compared to previous years is an oasis in the middle of the desert. We've got air-conditioning in our 4 to a room cabins as well as the comfort of our own dedicated shower and toilet block. All of this has kindly been supplied by Byrne. You can see in the background of the photo's the type of tents we were used to in previous years.

Even though we're down and out from the race it doesn't stop us assisting other competitors to remain in it. People know the Saluki and they know what it's capable of. With the high amount of dropouts today through high temperatures in the engine coolant or through oil temperatures getting too high we've been asked to provide both Water Wetter which has been supplied to us by Serck and Castrol EDGE oil to assist other competitors to remain in the race and cope with the high temperatures.

Paul, the co-driver, today assisted another competitor who's own co-pilot suffered a nasty accident yesterday. They wanted to complete a shakedown of the car following the rally route for today. Not long into the stage that cars engine blew up, providing a worse problem than the Saluki suffered yesterday - the car's dead and is still located in the desert. Anyone would think that Paul had a jinx when it comes to enginers! - We wonder if he'll be riding with anyone tomorrow?

Regards Team Saluki

-credit: ts