UAE Desert Challenge: Team Saluki day one notes

Today's the official start of the Desert Challenge so it's up and out early and wheels are rolling at 5:30am. Rick, Girish and Mark are in the Duellie (the Saluki support truck), Craig and Glen take the Honda Pilot and we pick up Laurie en-route...

Today's the official start of the Desert Challenge so it's up and out early and wheels are rolling at 5:30am. Rick, Girish and Mark are in the Duellie (the Saluki support truck), Craig and Glen take the Honda Pilot and we pick up Laurie en-route to Abu Dhabi. We arrive on-time in Abu Dhabi and take our places for the ceremonial start which takes place at the luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel.

Upon leaving the start the Castrol EDGE buggy heads out through rush hour traffic in Abu Dhabi and along with everyone else in the race becomes victim to a jack-knifed truck which has blocked three of the four lanes on the E11 highway slowing progress out of the city to a crawl. The end result was the the Saluki was two minutes late for the official start (along with many other competitors) but it was duly noted in the log and the race began in earnest.

A good day in the dunes was how Paul described it with one small niggling problem - the Saluki suffered a bit of a limp. About 80 Km from the finish the Saluki lost 3rd gear. This meant that for the last section of the race the guys were racing changing between 2nd and 4th gear. Glen commented that the downside to this is that when running in 2nd gear there's not enough airflow to keep cool in the car. Perhaps we should tell them that they are here to race, not to stay cool- If we're not careful the guys will be asking for ice-cream makers to be installed. Regardless of their need for cooling they did successfully manage to complete todays stage and given the current position (at time of writing) places them in 5th place.

In an attempt to bring you some more action shots Laurie and Craig headed into the dunes to get away from the madding crowd and to seek out some good locations. In the mid-day Sun Laurie managed to get himself stuck - he calls it parked but he was definitely stuck and required the assistance of tyre pressures being reduced as well as some muscle power from Craig. What did Craig get in thanks - a head and ear full of sand thanks to the spinning wheels. You be the judge - does Laurie look parked or stuck ?

We have all turned up at the camp, expertly arranged by James, Lee and Martin. We will get an overview shot of the camp so you've got a better understanding of the location.

The Saluki is currently going over a checkup and investigation into the failure of the 3rd gear in readiness for tomorrows race which sees the Saluki heading westward.

Regards

-credit: team saluki

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Series Cross-Country Rally