Saturday, March 27, 2010
Go fourth and qualify...
Just so you know, the Newtrix page has been blog-napped. A certain Mr. Tim Ansell, whose decline into notoriety began when he first accepted Ian Barker’s job offer over a pizza in Tehran High Street, has taken over the page for the duration of the Desert Challenge. This is simply because internet connections can be hard to come by in the desert, and since Newtrix does not as yet take its own team of PR luvvies with access to the media centre’s Broadband LAN WAP Bluetooth dongles darling, he (I) will be putting pen to pixel for the benefit of Newtrix Racing, from the comfort of a single malt whisky soaked desk in air conditioned Dubai. Slainté
And it gives me great pleasure on this, my first Faux Dog Blog, to tell you that the Barkers ‘kicked bottom’ this afternoon at the prologue. Having eventually found my way to the derelict, well hidden and un-advertised building site the organisers deemed a fit location to hold the “Super Special” (what’s so special about a heavily camoflauged sand pit?) I and all the competitors were at least suitably impressed with the layout of the stage, which allowed two cars / bikes / quads to run simultaneously on the same ‘circuit’, in a similar manner to many of the WRC’s Super Specials. Since it was over 40 degrees out there and I was stood in the middle of said sand pit with two heavy cameras slung round my neck, I for one was very happy that it meant the duration of the running of the prologue could be considerably reduced.
Where the routes crossed, a large bridge / jump had been built and I’m happy to say that like most competitors, Ian decided that discretion was more important than a sports page lead photo (I rather suspect Sheila may have had some say in this :-) and he took the jump cautiously, with the Patrol’s wheels leaving Mother Earth only briefly. Even so, I’ll bet he still got a flea in his ear for that. (It’s great being able to write Ian’s blog knowing he gets to read it and say “ooh that bugger Ansell….!”) Hee hee.
Anyway, as an (almost) independent witness I can honestly say that Ian did not APPEAR to be driving the stage particularly manically, in his own words, he was simply concentrating on “keeping it tidy” which was not easy given the amount of dust in the air and litter on the ground. But I digress.
He did indeed “keep it tidy” and by doing so, was able to keep his pedal to the proverbial metal, with the result that he finished the stage with the fourth fastest time of all the auto competitors. Oh yes, FOURTH fastest overall. Which means he beat Dave “To hell with the suspension, gearbox, engine and environment, I’m going to cane this thing into oblivion to get a fast finish” Mabbs in his FJ Cruiser, Mark “I’ll take it easy in the prologue thanks, it’s a five day race you know” Powell in the always sexy looking Saluki buggy, Raed “It doesn’t matter if I break it, quite frankly, I can afford to” Baker and a host of other local and international competitors. The Boy’s done well. And so did the Girl. As everyone knows, in rallying it’s co-drivers who do all the work and make the decisions, drivers just claim all the glory. So well done Shelia. Now take your hands off the roll cage please…
There’s a link here to the Special Stage results in case you don’t believe me (having seen some of the stuff I’ve published in the past, I can understand if you don’t believe me) and above, a selection of incredibly good photos taken by a photographer whom Ian will I’m sure go on to describe as “possibly the most important photographer to emerge from Arabian Ranches in the new Millenium”. At least he will if he wants any more free photos from me of the Patrol.
Finally we welcome back to Dubai / Liwa a man who needs no introduction, so he’s not getting one. Rick Carless, Team Newtrix Racing’s Technical Support Manager. Chief Bottle Washer and G.D.B. I mean, would you trust your rally vehicle to a bloke called “Carless”. For heavens sake. Joining Rick is Cesar “Ian I really should be at work in Al Thika you know” Marquez, whom Ian has once again purloined temporarily from the staff at our office. We’ll cope, we always do. THANKS GUYS. And remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey.
Until tomorrow………………………..Woof, I’m outa here!
And keep the damn Patrol running all day tomorrow, no ‘issues’ please folks.