A lovely start to the day - sitting in the garden of the Emirates Palace hotel, Tim briefing us on the origins of the word "toe rag" whilst we waited for the Ceremonial start. Little did we know at the time that the first of those words would play a major part in our day.
The official start was delayed almost an hour whilst the military has some live target practice in the area the teams were due to drive through. That would have sorted out the slow cars but the organisers opted to err on the side of caution and delayed the start.
Finally getting underway, the Saluki showed it's pace and by the first viewing point had gained a couple of places working it's way through the field.
Waiting at the service area were the crew anxiously waiting on its arrival and hoped safe passage without stopping - however they were dismayed to hear that the Saluki had suffered gearbox problems only 20Km from the service point. In the spirit of the rally, they were aided by a fellow competitor to the service point where the service crew took over.
We opted to tow the Saluki back to the bivouac with the service truck where repairs could take place in the temporary "Kennel" that James and Lee had setup the previous day. However en-route the service truck decided that it didn't actually need all the coolant in it's radiator and decided to empty it all over the Hameem road much to the annoyance of the service crew and the people they were towing at the time.
Luckily we had two spare cars that we could call on to tow both sick vehicles back to the bivouac - a distance of approximately 165Km.
Both sick cars are now back at Camp Saluki and the Saluki is being crawled over by the spanner monkeys to replace the gearbox in readiness for tomorrows race.
This has got to the one of the lows of the challenge, which of course on the upside means things can only get better.
Remember - You can check throughout the day, track when the cars finish each special stage here. We're team number 222.