Monday, March 9, 2009

The Devil Tempted Me!

Down at the NewTrix Garage, we’ve been having a bit of a clear-out. First I swapped my FJ Cruiser for Glen Reid’s 2003 Nissan Patrol 4.8, complete with brand new engine, winch and all the toys. Then I sold my 1991 GQ LWB Patrol (the Blue Goddess), my off-road steed for the past 14 years. That all made perfect sense. Then the devil tempted me.

Glen decided to sell his race car. It’s a 2008 Nissan Patrol with a race-prepped six litre LS2 Corvette V8 under the hood, which develops a stonking 510 bhp unrestricted and 300bhp with the FIA restrictor. It had only done two events, the 2008 DC and the RAK rally last month. It has all the toys – ARB difflocks all round, new tank, seats, belts – everything. And the price was…well, a lot less than it cost him to build it last year.

I can resist almost anything except temptation. I took it for a test drive and felt the power, the enormous torque, the thunder of the big V8…and I couldn’t help myself. I bought it, and now I just need someone to buy the old Patrol so I can afford to pay for it! Fortunately, with the 2009 DC just round the corner, there are several people interested.

‘The Beast’ (as it will henceforth be known) is in the workshop at present, the original build was completed in a hurry and the cooling in particular was never quite right. So a new 4-core radiator has gone in with an improved cowl, we’re fitting an airtank to enable the difflocks to work without constantly switching the compressor on and off, and we should be out this coming weekend for a shakedown. So NewTrix Racing steps up to T1 with the Big Boys, and I just hope I’m sufficiently brave to use that additional power to get a good result in the DC.

‘Expect the Unexpected’ in Liwa

Bayer AgroChemicals are running an on-going sales contest, with annual prizes for the top performing teams worldwide. This year their prize was as trip to the UAE. But, true to their slogan ‘Expect the Unexpected’, they were kept in the dark as to the event schedule. In the end, they were dropped in Liwa, close to the Moreeb DC bivouac, and after a walk and a camel ride, arrived at their desert camp. The following morning, three rally cars turned up to provide them with the thrill of a passenger ride through the dunes of the Empty Quarter! Mark Powell had been contracted by the organizers to arrange this, and the additional vehicles were provided by Ali Al Shawi and myself, both in our T2 Patrols.

The previous day we’d arrived to set up a course, but only had a chance to make a couple of circuits before we had to vacate the area to avoid giving the game away. The 15km circuit was sufficiently challenging to keep us on our toes, and after some 6 passenger rides we were exhausted! Fortunately I’d taken the car down on the trailer, and Rick Carless – a visitor from UK whose assistance I had co-opted – ended up driving back while I slept!

The best news was that it paid, so another slice of cash could go towards the DC entry fund.

Continental Wealth Management

Our friends at Continental Wealth Management (CWM) have been sponsoring NewTrix Racing since the middle of last year. They are a specialist investment broker based in Spain, and I feared that the current financial crisis would have hit them hard. But on the contrary, their business has gone from strength to strength because, as managing director Darren Kirby explained ‘Nobody goes to the doctor when they’re well!’ Poor returns in other areas have persuaded many clients to review their portfolios, and CWM has proved that even in recession there are profitable opportunities for savvy investors.

So we are delighted to confirm that CWM will continue their sponsorship through 2009, and their branding will be prominent on ‘The Beast’. Future plans for CWM include overseas branches, and expansion into the Gulf region is a definite possibility.