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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2006, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Team Saluki Desert Challenge 2006

It's that time of the year when the dog is let loose from its kennel to
locate and hunt down the prey as it takes part in the U.A.E. Desert

The preparations have taken almost a year but the last couple of days
have seen it all coming together for Team Saluki. The European support
team have flown in and have been making sure the car is running at it's
optimum and the local support teams have been pulling together all the
resources required to ensure that all will run smoothly for Team Saluki
during the challenge.

An update of what we've been upto. You would have had it sooner but a
certain airline delayed some essential baggage for over two days.

Yesterday, Team Saluki had to sign-on as an official entry to the Desert
Challenge event. This requirement ensures that both the driver and
navigator are qualified to take part in the event. As expected, no
problems were experienced and the guys are good to go.

Mark & Tim signing on at Rally control.

With the documentation all in order, it gave the team an opportunity to
take the Saluki out for a last shakedown. The shake down did exactly
what it was supposed to do - identify any potential problems with the
car that are not evident when the car is stationary. It was a
worthwhile excercise as it identified a small electrical fault with the
ignition circuit which was quickly recitified by the support team
allowing the Saluki to continue with the shakedown.

The Saluki during the shakedown.

With the drivers having been cleared to drive, it was the Saluki's turn
to be checked over to see it meets all the current FIA regulations. The
scrutineering was held at the same location as last year - in the middle
of the Ibn Battuta shopping Mall. The Saluki's an impressive site when
it drives through the entrance to the mall, through one of the shops and
then stops to be checked over.

The Saluki drives through the mall.

The Saluki passes the scrutineering with flying colours and is eligible
to take part in the challenge.

This evening the support teams are packing up and getting ready to hit
the road for the prologue tomorrow where the starting positions will be
sorted out between competitors.

The pressures building and the Saluki is straining on it's leash to be
let loose.

*Team Saluki*
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Team Saluki Desert Challenge 2006

Although relatively flat, the Prologue was a deeply rutted course where both bikes and vehicles were struggling to maintain their lines through the sand. This initial stage took it's toll on several of the vehicles causing breakdowns on the track. The Saluki took the necessary action on the tight and twisty track and avoided a broken down competitor blocking their path.

They say the challenge is hard, if the prologue is anything to go by we're in for some serious fun over the next couple of days.

Saluki doing it's thing.The Saluki stretching its legs

Some of the local support team travelled down to the bivouac at Moreeb Hill yesterday to setup camp for the arrival of the rest of the team later on today.

Earlier this morning, the team members who remained in Dubai travelled down to Abu Dhabi for the ceremonial start at the Emirate Palace Hotel.

The Saluki time from the prologue gave them a starting place of 28th out of 42 vehicles for first day of the event.

Team Saluki
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Team Saluki Desert Challenge 2006

Monday 6th - Day one - We're out of the trap and we're running

Day one of the event, the Saluki crosses the ceremonial start line at the Emirates Palace Hotel and was waved off by Mohammed Ben Sulayem to begin the 284.45Km first stage.

And they're under starters orders

At the official start, the Saluki is placed at 28th out of 42 vehicles. The first section takes its toll on one of the riders and results in him retiring from the race. The Saluki however is stretching it's legs and by the time it reaches PC1 it's climbed upto 22nd place taking back six places.

By the time they reach the service area the Saluki has continued their gain and are now upto 18th place. Choosing not to stop at the service area they passed through even though a misfire was evident on the engine as they passed the service area. Something for the service crew to work on this evening along side all the normal routine maintenance.

Arriving at the finish check point approximately one hour later they had increased their placing to 15th with a time of 3H 28M 44S.

Day one done and dusted

The Saluki team have moved into the bivouac at Morheeb Hill and setup camp. It's here that the teamwork and spirit of Team Saluki come together. Preparations are underway for the 304.50Km stage tomorrow.

Team Saluki.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Team Saluki Desert Challenge 2006

With direct news from the team a little sketchy, Ive taken the following directly from the Team website.

Tuesday 7th - Day two - The guide dog's ill

The Saluki started off the day a place ahead of yesterdays finishing place due to a fellow competitor having transmission problems on the start line.

72Km into the first 90Km section the call came in that the team fear to receive. The Dog's not well, the Dog itself is fine it's the guide-dog Tim that's ill. He's suffering from de-hydration.

The team make the sensible decision to request assistance using the emergency system installed in the vehicle. A medi-vac helicopter is soon on it's way directly to their exact location to airlift Tim to the local Moreeb hospital.

Tim had been following all the guidelines for hydration and had even been attending the hydration clinic to provide blood tests to check for symptoms of de-hydration.

Tim, before getting airlifted out would like to apologise to everyone for what he feels is letting the team down. The team however feel that the lows as well as the highs are all part of the challenge.

Mark completed the last 18Km to PC1 on his own and from there returned to the bivouac and finishing the day there.

Saluki are up for the challenge again tomorrow - Tim has just returned from the Doctors and he's got a race worthy certificate for tomorrow.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Team Saluki Desert Challenge 2006


With the Saluki not finishing yesterday the team have been given additional time penalties which puts their total time at 25H 17M 07S. However, with Tim firmly back in the co-driver seat having been declared fit yesterday evening, the Saluki is placed at starting position 30, still ahead of many of the competitors.

The race start this morning has been delayed by 90 minutes due to fog.

The race is back on......

The dogs's back.

Saluki start the day in 30th place due to the time penalties incurred
yesterday. The start was delayed due to the fog and instead of the
scheduled start time of 8:27 Saluki is finally let loose at 11:27 into
the heat of the day. They arrive at a remote PC1 flying through as
the 21st vehicle, the engine running perfectly due to the quality
lubrications supplied by Castrol.

At PC2, the service area, it's the Saluki on a dash where the service
team have been waiting on them arriving. The Saluki flies through the
PC point without even taking time out to congratulate the happy
couple. Two members of the European support team, Tessa and Ard, got
engaged this morning enroute to the service point. Atop a sand dune
Ard proposed to Tessa who accepted his proposal of marriage. Then it
was down to the serious business of getting to the service point. At
least they got their priorities correct. The Team wish Tessa and Ard
the very best for their future.

Back to the racing... The Saluki came storming through PC2 in 20th
position and headed out on a mission on the long stretch to PC3. The
team headed for the finish at PC4 to welcome the Saluki back in force to
the challenge. At the finish, the Saluki came in 12th place with a time
of 3H 23M 51S. An amazing drive and just goes to show how well the car
is running.*

*What goes up...*

Even in the extreme heat of the day due to the later start, the Saluki
is running cooler than previously due to the excellent cooling system
provided by Serck Services.

The day took it's toll on some of the other competitors inlcuding Ari
Vatanen who visited the Saluki camp last night. Ari did not finish
todays stage due to vehicle failure.
Ari has a look at how Saluki do things

At the end of the day, two happy occupants emerged from the Saluki,
helped by Tim's dehydration problem not reoccuring.

Team Saluki
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Team Saluki Desert Challenge 2006

Last night, the Saluki camp had another visitor, this time in the form
of Mohammed Ben Sulayem who came to chat with the team.

Mohamed Ben Sulayem visits the Saluki Camp

The Saluki support team has increased overnight with a couple of new
arrivals. Currently in the Kennel we have the Love Machines - Ard &
Tessa, Mark & Nicky, Craig & Caroline, Rick, Jason, James, Tracy,
another James, Gayle, Richard, Trevor and Bob. Oh and of course Mark
and Tim. Helping to keep Saluki's support crew's stamina going have
been the provisions supplied to Saluki from Ashoka..

A long 378.75Km section with four PC points and a special refueling
point at PC2 where the service crew have to do the refueling within an
allocated 15 minute slot. The Saluki is expected to use something in the
order of 700 litres (155 Gallons) of fuel today.

The Serck Services trucks are proving to be an excellent resource
enabling the support crew easy access to all the spare parts and tools
without having to pack and unpack everything at each service point - our
thanks to Serck Services for providing these to Team Saluki for the

Todays racing was fairly hectic, the Saluki screamed past PC1 heading
for PC2. It had gained six places from it's revised starting place of
14th. The dog was on heat. The refuelling went ahead as planned,
filling the Saluki tanks to the brim, it was only when the Saluki went
to start and move to the service area that a problem was discovered.
The starter motor had overheated and would not crank. Mark and Tim
could receive no assistance from the support crew as the Saluki was in
parc firme. Tim had to push the car backwards and then forwards to
bump-start the car. With the Saluki under it's own power it was out
into the race. Precious minutes had been lost due to the remote
location of the fuelling point from the main service area.

Once on the race line again - the Saluki suffered a further problem
with the car losing power. Approximately 1Km out from the service area
the car had stopped. The guys again were on their own - a quick change
of the distributor arm and new cap from their on-board supplies and the
Saluki is up and running again.

The long route out to PC3 and the return to PC4 were frantic times for
the Team given the problems experienced close to the service area.
However the Saluki did successfully cross the finish line at a pace and
is given a provisional place of 17th with a time of 6H 23M 32S.

Saluki in the Desert Challenge 2006

*Team Saluki
* <>*
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Team Saluki Desert Challenge 2006

An early start to the day as it's effectively a 544.40Km route from the
camp through two special stages returning to Dubai. A long and
isolated journey with very little viewing points easily accessible

The car, as it is every night, was serviced using Britpart provided
parts and was ready to hunt down more prey today. The Team are
impressed with the Dunlop provided tyres and their handling in the sand,
even the service crew gave the Dunlops the thumbs up on the tyres based
on their lack of slippage on the wheels. The gearbox we're glad to say
has performed faultlessly throughout the whole event having been shipped
into the country courtesy of G.A.C.

On the hunt

Starting the day in 17th place, leaving the bivouac the Saluki travelled
119Km to get to the start line, The first stage is 122.45Km long with
only a single PC point to pass, they passed it on a mission and
proceeded to complete the first stage. Upon completion of this the
Saluki then charged towards the Service point some 102Km into the next
stage. Just prior to the service point (102.3Km into the stage), the
Dog was busy hunting down a pack of four vehicles ahead of it. It left
the service point biting at the heels of one of them, heading for the
flying finish of the second stage a further 61Km north.

The Saluki is placed 21st with a day time of 3H 46M 35S and an overall
event time of 38H 51M 05S. This is a full 1H 48M 25S ahead of 22nd place.*

*Crossing the finish line DC 2006*

The Saluki has taken on one of the toughest races in the world and*
*successfully completed it again where many others have failed to get
past day one. * *Out of 46 vehicles only 27 managed to pass the finish
line. The UAE Desert Challenge is certainly a challenge and one that
the Saluki is up for.

Team Saluki
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