Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2012

It’s been a while since I blogged, but I’ve been living my life to the full…….

Actually I have been doing a lot of sand driving, and as I’ve been writing about offroading quite a lot, I thought I might bore you if I did yet another “we’ve been to the dunes” post.

So here’s a new post – about desert driving – but this is something different.  Some friends and I are marshalling at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2012, which starts on Sunday 1st April.

Neil will catch up with us once he is onshore; I can just imagine his facebook status that day ……….”off to the desert to find my wife”.

Now last year, when I was a marshal at this event, I got less than an hour and a half’s offroading over the whole week, so to ensure that we will get some quality sand driving time, I’ve requested remote checkpoints – and we have got them!   So if you come to the advertised spectator’s points, then you will only be 30kms of dunes away from us.

My team have been preparing all week – I’ve been busy making Scottish/Arabian Tablet – that old Scot’s favourite sweet with a bit of a local twist (camel milk) , Clootie dumpling (when sliced it and packed up in foil it heats up nicely in the patrol’s engine compartment and it’s got camel milk as one of the ingredients too), Camel Stew (when in Rome….) for our Monday night’s supper.  We’re not planning on going hungry!  Wallie is organising a shower for us and Vince is getting the BBQ food for us to eat on Sunday night and firewood.

Why don’t I actually compete I hear you ask – money is the number one factor, by the time you get a car built with roll cages etc and to comply with FIA regulations, plus entry fee, plus support, it’s not a cheap week in the desert.

Rallying on sand is a completely different discipline to our club drives every weekend; in rallying it is all about getting point to point as fast as possible, whereas in our drives we are looking for a good smooth line and aiming for technical perfection – we don’t always achieve that mind you!

So I will be quite happy to watch these guys speed in and out of the checkpoints!  Mind you if anyone has a rally car they would like to lend me for next year’s event……..  You can find me in the desert, Liwa in the winter, Sweihan in the summer!

Sadly no trucks are taking part in the rally this year but a very healthy entry of cars and bikes/quads.  First event open to the public is the Super Special Stage on some waste ground next to the Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi on Sunday April 1st – 1st bikes goes at 1500hs – I hope some of my friends will come and spectate on Sunday afternoon.

Good luck to all the competitors!

  1. Great blog Marina, I am sure you will have some outragious buggies with the big engines. This loooks like it will be fun.Also did you get your parts yet??

  2. Thanks Scott – they don't have too many outrageous buggies, but keep a look at the website for up to date photos and video clips. http://www.abudhabidesertchallenge.ae. FJ parts came from Oman, on time, now fitted and working fine – now I have to get used to offroading with full power steering!

  3. Great blog Marina, I am one of the friends that will be joining you. Can't wait to go. 5 Days of sitting around and help the tierd drivers to find their way, but wat I am intrested in is the bit of desert driving, sun rise and sun sets in Liwa. Can we go now or are we there yet? LOL :)

  4. Ronniea (Mum) – it's a bit boring at times to tell the truth and the temp is now 35-40C during the day, so it will be an endurance test for us too!Wallie – I am ready to go now…..

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