HANS (head and neck restraint systems) are mandatory this year, and they are a lot cheaper in USA than elsewhere. Fortunately, my business partner Tim Ansell is co-driving for Dave Mabbs (Team FJ) and they are bringing in a load of gear from the States and have kindly offered to include our HANS in their consignment – currently winging its way across the Atlantic.
The fire extinguishers are being tested and re-certified. New logos for Continental Wealth Management are ready to be applied. I’ve modified a 2-gallon water cooler to provide a drinking water supply to us while we’re racing, and the lid is big enough that we can dump a bag of ice in there each day. The weather is cooling down, but it’s still in the mid-30s so we’ll be drinking plenty! Sheila is busy sewing on new Velcro strips to anchor the seat squabs, bless her. And we’ve bought two new awnings - one for the service crew to use at each day’s service point, and another to stay at the bivouac.
At least we are further ahead than some of our fellow competitors. Dave Mabbs’ recently acquired FJ is still not ready – so many things have had to be changed to meet FIA regulations (rather than the SCORE regs under which it previously raced in USA) and also to suit the conditions of the Desert Challenge. And Glen’s new V8-powered Patrol is still not ready
Apparently the major works teams will not be participating in this year’s Challenge, but nevertheless 40+ cars and 80+ bikes have registered to compete. There’s plenty of local interest including Fadi Melky, Team FJ, Team Saluki, and Glen Reid, so all the old rivalries are set be re-ignited!