Heat is an issue in Dubai. Obviously. This particular writer has just found refuge in the air-conditioned media centre at Dubai’s Autodrome. The water bottle, short sleeves and factor 30 don‘t seem to be working.

And that’s after just a few hours trawling the paddock and pit garages at the Dubai 24Hr – we’re nothing if not thorough at crankandpiston, after all. My heart goes out to the 80+ competitors who for the next two days will be kitted out in fire-proof overalls and a heavy race suit. How do they avoid keeling over?

Meet Alison. This is her third year at the Dubai 24Hr and to most of the drivers, she’s not just a mate. She’s a saving grace. We’ve stumbled across her at Stand21, a company specializing in driver aid technology. At the core of their developments is ‘heat stress control’. Passing out through heat exhaustion is common when temperatures rise, and their specially designed attire – which dissipates heat away from the driver – has helped limit this danger.

On top of that, drivers lucky enough to receive a drive at the very last minute needn’t worry about their lack of kit. Helmets and HANS (Head and Neck) devices are already Stand21s’ bestsellers this weekend.

Alison throws the crankandpiston team a cheery wave as we venture out again into the sun. Stand21 is always on duty when there’s a race event at the Autodrome. By now, Alison’s used to the heat. And for the times she isn’t? Well there’s a handy selection of heat stress control underwear not too far away >>>

James Gent first started as a freelance motorsport writer in the UK, before an urge to be paid a monthly wage saw him move to Dubai in late 2011. A keen motoring enthusiast, he hopes that one day his garage will hold a Lamborghini Countach, as well as a WRC Lancia Delta Integrale.

James Gent

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