UAE Desert Challenge: Team Saluki scrutineering notes

What I hear you cry - it can't be a year already since we last heard about the exploits of Team Saluki in the Desert Challenge. You'll be glad to know that your memory is indeed correct - it's only been six months since it last ran. The ...

What I hear you cry - it can't be a year already since we last heard about the exploits of Team Saluki in the Desert Challenge. You'll be glad to know that your memory is indeed correct - it's only been six months since it last ran. The organisers have opted to bring it forward to stop it potentially clashing with a parade race when it comes to Abu Dhabi later on this year, commonly known as F1.

So here we are again - it's almost the end of March and Team Saluki have been feverishly working away with a shortened timescale to get things ready for the 2009 Challenge.

We have completed some major diagnosis, rectification and testing since last years event. The problems we had with the engine last year we believe we've got cracked for this year and our 2nd place result in the Hail Saudi Arabia Baja holds testament to this.

Today we all took the short trip (260Km round trip) from Dubai down to Abu Dhabi where the challenge is starting and finishing this year. The reason for the trip was for the scrutineering which confirms that the vehicle conforms to the FIA regulations and that the drivers are valid to race. You'll be glad to know that we're good to go and ready for the prologue event which takes place tomorrow also in Abu Dhabi.

This year we have a remapped engine and we also have a new driver. Our existing driver, Mark Powell, has had to take the back seat in a two seater car due to revised work commitments leaving Glen Reid to take the driving seat. Glen has competed in past Desert Challenges and originally comes from New Zealand but we won't hold that against him. Joining Glen up front in his normal seat as co-driver is Paul Richards.

After completing scrutineering the major players of the team pose with the Saluki in a rogues gallery kind of moment. Left to right we have Driver - Glen Reid, Team Principal - Mark Powell and Co-Driver - Paul Richards.

This year we're running with two on-board video cameras and as soon as time permits we'll get edited versions of the footage out to you. We already know that the major TV networks that are covering the event have in the past seen our on-board footage and are keen to receive it again to get the viewers closer to the action so yet again - Team Saluki will be coming to a TV screen near you shortly.

A brief look inside the Saluki from Paul's side of the Saluki. Two video capture devices, trip counters, satellite navigation and a host of other buttons to look after as well as advising Glen on where to go - no time for slacking here.

This years the "Team" compromises a small but dedicated group looking after the interests of the Saluki.

In alphabetical order we have :

Craig McAteer - Media Chief
Girish Kumar - Mechanic
James Thomas - Team Manager
Laurie Bridger - Webmaster
Lee Ashley - General Service
Mark Adams - Engine Management
Martin Double - General Service
Rick Galman - Chief Mechanic

We'll get another update out to you tomorrow after the prologue with our status.

Regards

-credit: team saluki

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Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers Mark Powell