Day 1 - 200km then the clutch let go. Towed out by Sweep Team: https://www.facebook.com/newtrixracingdubai/videos/1152555621533959/
Day 2 - Ali Al Shawi's mechanics pull out engine, replace clutch friction plate
Day 3 - Took the start, pulled out at Moreeb, drove to PC1 on the blacktop, did PC1 to PC2 then bailed again. Beast (and Sheila) well down on power
Day 4 - Welded up the exhaust and replaced the brake master cylinder. Beast now fettled.
|The Beast appears to have eaten my mechanics|
So that brings up up to Day 5, which went extremely well - apart from one bad decision which left us stuck in some ridiculously soft sand halfway up a dune. Fortunately we were rescued by car 228, Ahmad Al Malki's Isuzu, who gave us a massive tow out. Thanks guys! The Beast was once more on top form, handling everything we could throw at it without complaint. (Except when we hit a hard tussock with the front right wheel, causing the top left side of the windscreen to shatter - go figure!)
So we ended the stage in 18th place, ensuring a classified 25th place finish overall. Nasser Al-Attiyeh, by contrast, was leading at the start of the final day by an hour and 40 minutes from Sh. Khalid Al Qassemi - then pitch-poled his Hilux it on a sand spit, and was unable to finish. One mistake is all it takes to go from hero to zero.
The day ended as usual with prize-giving, dinner and excessive alcohol consumption before being evicted from the Y-Bar at 2.00am.
Massive thanks are due to the entire team -
Rick, Jason and Phil for their unstinting hard work and expertise,
Kate and Cristina for racing off to collect a clutch,
Tim for fetching the clutch,
Sabertooth Motorsports and Rob Bryan at 1000 Dunes Garage for supplying the clutch,
Ali Al Shawi and Dakar Garage for fitting the clutch
Ahmad Al Malki for pulling our chestnuts out of the fire
And last but not least, Sheila (my better half and trusty co-driver) who battled ill-health to complete our run of 10 consecutive Desert Challenge appearances.
So what does the future hold? Well, the Beast is up for sale. so if you have Dh 180k (o.n.o) looking for a good home, give me a call. We may decide to get a buggy instead and compete in National Class at the EDC. We've looked at the Yamaha YXZ 1000, and are hoping to get a test drive in a Can-Am X3.
So watch this space...