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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Desert Challenge 2005



It’s green, it’s mean and it’s ready to rumble.

Team Saluki rise to the Challenge

Team Saluki are set to maintain their lead as both the No.1 rally team in the Gulf and also the highest placed non-works team in the forthcoming U.A.E. 2005 Desert Challenge.

Driving their heavily modified 110 Landrover, Team Saluki are hopeful of rising to the challenge of seeing off their world class competitors in a repeat of last years Desert Challenge. Team Saluki came in a highly commendable 4th place in the T2 Category, ahead of many of the specialised works teams. This finishing position placed them as the number one rally team in the Gulf.

Named after the legendary Arabian hunting dog, Team Saluki will this year be aiming to stay ahead of the pack and maintain their dominance in the Gulf.

To assist in this challenge, Team Saluki will be running a specialist 4.8Litre V8 engine that produces 325 BHP. A very strong International following not only provides support but this year 8 crew members are coming from Europe to ensure that Team Saluki maintain their lead.

Speaking on behalf of Team Saluki, Driver - Mark Powell said ”The pressure to do well in 2005 is that much greater after our performance last year, but we have made several improvements to the car’s transmission and cooling system and with these in place we’re confident of improving on that fourth place. Of course we are racing against professional works teams from around the world so competition is intense, but we have the advantage of local knowledge of the conditions, which gives us a big advantage in the most challenging dunes.

Our new sponsor Mountain Dew have been backing successful NASCAR teams in the U.S.A. for many years now, and we aim to show them that Team Saluki means business too. Years ago we were happy enough just to finish the Desert Challenge, but in 2002 and again in 2004 we made the professionals sit up and take notice of us. A podium finish has always eluded Team Saluki until now, but we’ll never stop aiming for one.”

More information on Team Saluki can be found on their website www.teamsaluki.com or email Team Saluki at [email protected]





Mark Powell (L) and Tim Ansell (R) stand poised once again to take on the world champions in the UAE Desert Challenge in November



Team Saluki powering around a corner in the recent Um Al Quwain rally held in the UAE.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

The dog’s got a new heart.

Competing in the Ajman rally prior to the Desert Challenge served it’s purpose. It was meant to be a shakedown for both the vehicle and passengers and a shakedown was exactly what Team Saluki received. We managed to break the gearbox. So while the transmission was out of the car for repairs we decided to check on a couple of other things too. We’ve had some serious reservations about the engine since having it rebuilt in the U.K. in the summer of 2004 and our worst fears were realised when our new sponsors Castrol analysed our engine oil for us a couple of days later. “There’s far too much fuel getting past the piston rings so you’re wasting fuel, running too lean and washing all the oil off the cyclinder walls too.” they said, then added “Sorry to tell you but in our opinion this engine won’t last for another five days under race conditions”.

We had received the news on the morning of 3rd October, with just 5 weeks until the Challenge. The decision to have the engine rebuilt yet again was made – we really had no choice but it was to stretch our budget to breaking point - and a series of frantic phone calls began. The engine was removed the next day and our longest serving sponsors GAC pulled all the stops out to deliver it to V8 Developments in the UK three days later, whilst new sponsors Britpart did their best to ‘lean’ on the engine builders to keep their rebuild costs down. In turn, just 48 hours after receiving it, V8 Developments called us to give us their verdict, but unfortunately it was worse than we had expected. A lot of work had to be done and the bill would be double the original estimate – this was money we simply didn’t have.

To the rescue came yet another sponsor, Al Thika Packaging, who made up the shortfall in the funds, allowing us to call V8 Developments and tell them to go ahead with the full rebuild and modifications, instead of the ‘patch it together’ job which we could otherwise have afforded. After less than a week, the engine was run up on the dynometer and the results showed an excellent flat torque curve, with maximum power a fraction over 300bhp. This is down very slightly on the old engine’s figures, but the new version should be a lot more reliable and the torque more useable in steep sand climbs. Combined with our slightly lower final drive ratios, the ‘new’ Saluki should have superb dune driving capabilities. Perfect for Liwa and the Challenge.

Thanks again to Castrol, GAC, Britpart, Al Thika Packaging and of course to V8 Developments for turning the engine round inside a week. What could have been a catastrophic problem was overcome as quickly as possible.

Black, red and orange rocker covers go nicely with lime green body panels!

The Saluki’s engine is unpacked after being rebuilt in the UK


Follow the dogs new heart at www.teamsaluki.com
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

Team Saluki – A V8 in P8

The team received fantastic news today when they learned that they had been seeded 8th of the 37 starters in autos for this year's Desert Challenge. Thanks to their great finish last year, 7th overall, 4th in the T2 category, the team have broken into the top 10 seedings for the first time in this, their 6th Desert Challenge.

Mark & Tim will once again be racing against Stephan Peterhansel and Jean Paul Cottret, who finished behind the Saluki in last year's race, and against Joan Roma and Henri Magne who they first met in last year's Qatar Baja. The Fitech and Liberty Team are local rivals from the U.A.E., whilst Bruce Garland has been racing in the Desert Challenge for many years and is well known to Mark. Dave Mabbs, who shared the Saluki bivouac last year, has a new co-driver Michael Hannagan and is seeded 24th, one place ahead of David Gabbis & Xavier Caminada who also race locally in their T2 Pathfinder.

In order to catch all the excitement from the race, Sony Broadcast & Professional have loaned the team their latest semi-professional film camera, the HV-A1E. It is a High Definition camera and so will be recording material in broadcast quality. The team hope to offer this footage to production companies around the world immediately after the race.



Unfortunately the HD-TV tape length is just 63 minutes and with stages taking as long as 5 hours, Tim will be operating the camera by remote control and hoping to record the most exciting action. The camera will be mounted just behind the pair's heads from a cross beam on the roll-cage, so the footage might include a few choice words when the going gets tough. We just hope the sound track can be edited...! Another feature of the camera is its ability to automatically take a still photograph every minute or every five minutes, even when filming. With sufficient memory installed, Mark & Tim hope to capture some memorable photos of the view from the cock-pit of the Saluki racer. Some of these these may be posted on the web-site within minutes of the end of each day's racing so look out for the updates.

Follow the action on www.teamsaluki.com

Regards

Team Saluki
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 09:03 AM
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

Looking forward to seeing some video footage. Good luck.....
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

Thanks!

We'll try to get footage up asap, but I suspect that it may take a bit of time. However, the updates should come thick and fast along with the photos.

Mark
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

Sunday 6th November 2005 - Nearly there & nearly ready!

The first phase of the 2005 U.A.E. Desert Challenge takes part tomorrow as Mark and Tim have to complete the documentation process, showing the organisers numerous documents such as their driving licenses, international racing licenses, team registration, car registration, insurances etc. etc. This will no doubt take a few hours as they struggle for a place in the queue with about 150 competitors, including bike riders, drivers and co-drivers, at the official race headquarters, Dubai International Marine Club.

Ard Lampers arrived from the Netherlands last night, and he and Mark spent all day carrying out the hundreds of small but very important jobs on the car to make sure it's in perfect - or at least as close as we can get to it - condition for the race. There was a slight problem when we realised the fire extinguishers were out of certification, so these were whisked off to a nearby extinguisher inspection company and they have PROMISED that they'll be ready for collection by noon tomorrow.

They must be installed in the car by tomorrow evening because the all important scrutineering takes place on Tuesday 8th November inside the Ibn Battuta shopping mall. The whole car and the crew's safety clothing will be inspected to see it meets the FIA's regulations and once that hurdle is crossed, Team Saluki will be included on the official starting list.

Later today the UK contingent of service crew and supporters will be arriving at Dubai airport where the very busy Ard Lampers will collect them and they'll all, somehow, be squeezing into Mark's villa in Dubai.

Various magazines have come out this week featuring articles about Team Saluki, including Game On, Time Out, Middle East Car, Total Sport, Emirates Today and others, whilst Tim has been busy with radio interviews on both Radio 2 (FM 99.3) and Dubai Eye (FM 103.Cool in the last two days. In the UK we also have articles in Land Rover Monthly, Land Rover Enthusiast and Land Rover Owner International this month. The team's P.R. machine continues to roll on...





Monday 7th November 2005 - The band of crazy volunteers has arrived

Early this morning Team Saluki expanded with the arrival of the rest of the volunteer crew who will support the team during the Desert Challenge - Mark, Nicky, Dave and Craig have all arrived safe and well and spent today with Ard tidying up loose ends on the Saluki. Bob Morrison from LandRover Monthly also made an appearance the Saluki camp.

The support crew spent the day getting the vehicle into a fit state for scrutineering which will take place tommorow . Items that were completed today include - aligning the belts on the waterpump / tensioner and drive shaft, electrical changes and checks, and the fitting of new side windows amongst other things. True to their word - the fire extinguishers have been collected from the inspection company and are now back in the vehicle.

Since documentation took place today successfully- the vehicle has been plastered with vehicles number (208) as is now well and truly stickered up.

The vehicle is 99% complete with only a small number of tasks to be completed for tommorows scrutineering which for the first time ever for an FIA event is being held in a public location - Ibn Battuta shopping mall. Team Saluki are scheduled for a 12:00 appointment with the scrutineers.

We'll let you know tommorow how we got on...

Regards,

Team Saluki.

www.teamsaluki.com
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-08-2005, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

The second phase of the challenge took place today – Scrutineering. The Saluki has been prepared like never before and headed off to Ibn Battuta shopping mall for it’s high noon appointment with the scrutineers. The scrutineers would go over every inch of the Saluki making sure that safety equipment was correct and up to date, seals were in place, documentation on the vehicle (chassis numbers etc) were all correct in all – ensuring that it complied with the FIA regulations for the car to enter the rally.

The mall is an impressive building but it became even more impressive when the Saluki drove through one of the stores to get to the scrutineering point. The sound of a rumbling V8 engine waiting to be unleashed certainly gave the shoppers something to drool over. Unfortunately there was no time for even window shopping – the Saluki had an appointment that it had to pass.

We’re glad to say that the Saluki passed scrutineering with flying colours and we are now on the official starting list. The spare parts have been inventoried and the service crews are getting their vehicles ready to travel to the Liwa camp after the stage tomorrow. The only thing that bothers the team is a squeaking clutch pedal which is unlikely to be heard above the noise of the engine whilst racing.



The media campaign is paying off – this month’s issue of Car Magazine includes a full two page spread on Team Saluki and the team also make a single page appearance in the Dubai edition of Time Out.

The next phase of the Challenge is the Prologue stage which takes place tomorrow at 4pm near today’s venue of the Ibn Battuta mall. The team are looking forward to getting on with what they do best – dune racing – the challenge begins in earnest tomorrow.



Regards

Team Saluki www.teamsaluki.com



A quick note to thank one of our sponsors.

Angliss QBB have done a sterling job in supplying meat and sustenance to Team Saluki for use at their camp at Liwa. The meat supplied will ensure that the whole team keep up with the demanding work schedule during the Desert Challenge and we’re glad to have them on board as one of our sponsors. Many thanks to Graham Evans at Angliss QBB who sell and market food products in the Middle East region for their provisions and also for his support of Team Saluki.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

Wednesday 9th November 2005

12:00 and Team Saluki are in team uniform at the drivers briefing obtaining information on the rally, last minute changes and of course the important safety briefing. The rally will cover 2108 Km of racing over the next five days.

4pm and the sun hasn’t quite set but it’s heading downwards which is going to make driving the prologue track difficult in the setting sun. By the time the motorcycles have gone it’s past 5pm and the Saluki is straining on it’s leash to get going on the track. At the start line – the stands are full of spectators, people line the starting straight as well as round the edge of the track.

The flag is lifted and we’re off – the first section of racing on the Desert Challenge for 2005. It’s a tight course with straights in between the corners, most of which are 180 degrees causing you to drive past the section you’ve just driven. The motorcycles and most of the vehicles have gone before us so the track is starting to get churned up but the Saluki carries on regardless.

It’s a good round by the team. Tim, when exiting the car asked – “Did that look fast from the outside– it felt fast from the inside ?”. Mark was confident and simply said “That felt good”.

It was good – Team Saluki have been placed provisionally 16th on the starting grid for tomorrows Stage 1 of the rally which will cover 282.70Km.

If you haven't already checked it out - our Iritrack system should be up and running for tomorrows stage - Click here to follow the progress of car 208 for the whole rally.



Regards

Team Saluki www.teamsaluki.com
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

Thursday November 10th 2005

It’s an early start for the team, leaving Dubai to travel to Abu Dhabi for the ceremonial start which is being held at the Emirates Palace – it’s up at 5:30ish and wheels are rolling at 6:00am.

The palace oozes in splendour, plenty of professional staff and politeness by the bucket full but unfortunately as one member of the team found out, it’s lacking toilet paper in the toilets.

Once the Saluki has gone through the start the team begin a carefully orchestrated game of logistics. Streaky and Dave head to the official start. Ard, Craig, Mark and Nicky to the service point whilst Paul is heading for all the points. Plans will change tomorrow as we’ll have more space in some of the support trucks having emptied most of our belongings at the camp in Moreeb Hill, Liwa.

Team Saluki, vehicle number 208, are starting in 16th position after yesterdays prologue placing them nicely to begin the challenge.

At the service point it seems the whole team is waiting for the Saluki to make an appearance. Gayle, Carol, Bob and Roger Harrison all join us there. Several of the other cars come in and head either straight out again or pop in for a quick service. A motorcycle passes the checkpoint leaving a long trail of sand dust billowing behind it – something familiar looms out of the dust – it’s big, it’s boxy and it’s moving, fast.

The Saluki at the service point has climbed into sixth place – an increase of ten places from their starting position this morning. Mark and Tim head for the service vehicles to top up on brake fluid. Thirty seconds later, a quick check for leaks and a top up on fluid and the Saluki is back out on the course doing what the Saluki does best - hunting down the prey.

The service crew, their work done for the time being, head for the crossover point on the track just before the finish line for this stage. The Saluki comes powering over the horizon and drives directly towards and then below us through the underpass and heads for the finish line.

Back at the bivouac, Team Saluki get the unofficial posting of 5th place.

Meanwhile the service guys have to get on with fixing one of the fuel pumps, locating the source of the brake leakage and the hundred or so other checks they have to make on the vehicle to ensure it’s ready in the morning for the next stage of the Challenge.

If you haven't already checked it out - our Iritrack system should be up and running for tomorrows stage - Click here to follow the progress of car 208 for the whole rally.

Regards
Team Saluki - www.teamsaluki.com
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Desert Challenge 2005

A laptop failure means that the only news from the team today was over the phone, but what news it was.

Team Saluki are now officially placed 4th overall. This is our highest place in te Challenge to date and and a brilliant result.


Team Saluki are 4th. Excellent.


Did you know that you can follow the event either live or in 'replays' by clicking the following link:

Follow the Saluki
http://odis.usei-strasbourg.net/doub...lang=en&mode=0

Click "Todays Race live" if the rally is on or to rerun previous stages, make your selection from "See previous stages".

This will open a popup window where you can select the teams you wish to follow, to a maximum of four teams. Saluki is vehicle 208, so in the first box, enter 208, then any fromthe following list to see their progress at the same time. Press play for the reruns or sit and watch the live progress (if the vehicle is running).

It sounds complicated, but after the first try, its really easy to setup.

Have fun and thanks for your support.

Team numbers in vehicle order, not rankings.

201 Stephane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret, Mitsubishi Motor Sports, Mitsubishi Evo
202 Ronan Chabot / Gilles Pillot, Chabot / Pillot, Toyota KDJ120
203 Joan Roma / Henri Magne, Mitsubishi Motor Sports, Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution
204 Laurent Rosso / Didier Dupuy, Fitech Team, Nissan Pathfinder
205 Jose Luis Monterde / Tiziano Siviero, X-Raid GmbH, BMW X5
206 Ellen Lohr / Detlef Ruf, ORC Sport Service, Mercedes ML
207 Ahmed Bin Suqat / Jassim Albalooshi, Liberty, Chevrolet Pick Up
208 Mark Powell / Tim Ansell, Team Saluki, Land Rover, Defender
209 Saeed Al Hameli / Ali Shaiban, Nissan Patrol
210 Andrea Mayer / Christian Schoen,Nissan Pathfinder
211 Yahya Alhelei / Khalid Alkendi, Liberty, Chevrolet Pick Up
212 Bruce Garland / Steven Green, Isuzu V-Cross
213 Obaid Bin Hathboor / Abdulhaleem Zayed, Liberty, Chevrolet Pick Up
214 Luc Beckers / Luc De Coker, Toyota T 80
215 Leonid Novitski / Oleg Tyupenkin, Russia Team, Mitsubishi Pajero

An example of the tracking screen can be seen here:
http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/5613/progress0wc.jpg

Thanks again for your support.

www.teamsaluki.com
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