Wilfred Thesiger may have crossed the Empty Quarter and taken some nice photographs but he had the good sense to do it during the winter. It was with this spirit of (mis) adventure that I strapped on the Canon and crossed the Arabian Sands to the barren, uninhabited region known as the “Dubai World Trade Centre“.
The mid-May sun beat down relentlessly but I happily risked losing my sanity and the distinct possibility of getting an annoyingly itchy sweat rash in my nether regions to bring you this report for one simple reason.
Motor sport events here are about to enter aestivation so this would be my last opportunity to get snap-happy before the season ends.
The combination of the final round of the Emirates Motor Sports Federation Auto X event and a Motorsport Solutions Barrel Sprint was too good an opportunity to miss (even if it is getting a bit hot outside).
The EMSF Auto X has been a great success this year. My only grumble is that I have missed most of them as they seem to be promoted using the Secret Squirrel technique.
Organizers please take note – this is an amazing event for both competitors and spectators. Promotion and advertising leading up to these events needs a rethink for next season to ensure its continued success. If we don’t know we don’t go. Simples.
Assorted machinery lined up in Parc Fermé but the weapon of choice for this event is clearly the Evo.
Various generations of Mitsubishi’s finest were in attendance. Difficult to accept that the Mitsubishi Keiretsu have ceased the evolution of the Evolution and there will be no Evo XI. Insert unhappy face here accompanied by various grumblings aimed at corporate Japan.
The beauty of these Auto X events however is that powerful weaponry alone is not enough. A stock FWD hatchback can mix it with the big boys if a skillful driver is behind the wheel and a lot of these guys obviously have the gift.
Tyre choice made a huge difference however and most of the competitors in purpose built cars were running on slicks which definitely gave them the edge.
In the end it was Fadi Ahmad Bikawi who put in the fastest time in the Tensai Tuning Evo.
Mohammad Al Falasi and the team at Motorsport Solutions are introducing the Barrel Sprint to next seasons line up of activities. This impromptu event was being held to promote awareness and gauge interest in the simple in theory concept.
There are no categories and very few rules. This is a head to head elimination event with the winner progressing to the next round.
Two cars line up in separate lanes, the flag drops and the first contestant to come to a complete stop in the finishing box wins. Simple enough? It would be if only there were not three barrels standing between you and victory…
Contestants can approach the first barrel from the left or right and must drive around it fully before moving on to the next barrel. If the first barrel was approached from the left then the second must be approached from the right and so on.
Hit one of the barrels and you get a D.N.F. In this event that means pack your bags and go home which creates a tangible level of competitiveness.
This must be the only form of motor sport where a Dodge Viper can go head to head with a Fiat 500 and the result is not predetermined. Driver skill and car control are the only prerequisite.
Bigger and heavier cars have the power advantage but smaller cars even the field with their nimbleness and tighter turning circles.
Barrel Sprints will be held all throughout next season with the intention of getting more people interested in participating in motor sport. Barrel Sprint sponsors ZDEGREE will also be awarding prize cheques to the winners which is never a bad thing.
Check out our full gallery HERE
Our thanks to TheToolzReport