Monster Jam. Abu Dhabi, UAE. Clash of the Titans

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A Marvel Comics-friendly crowd couldn’t quite give Fortune the American spirit he needed to overall Van Horn, Grave Digger slashing the fastest run thus far to become the first Monster Jam Racing Champion on Middle Eastern soil. Cue the quad bikes and some freestyle motocross action, and the chase was now on for the Monster jam Freestyle crown. Could Grave Digger achieve the Double Down and go two-for-two in Abu Dhabi?

All bets looked good early on for Bari Musawwir and Spider-Man to take the honours, a solid 1m30s run (plus a 30s bonus time) netting him 26 points, a total his fellow competitors found difficult to beat. The fired up Floridian was keen to take home at least some gold, but that wasn’t his only goal for the night.

“Aside from winning(!), I want to put on a good show for the fans,” Musawwir explained. “It’s the first time that they’ll have seen anything like this live and in person, so we want to do the very best job that we can so that we leave an impression. We want to come back at some point, so we want to make fans all over the world.

“The crowds tonight can expect a good family fun time, a lot of high-flying action. We want everyone to come out, have a great Friday night and see something that they have never seen before.”

Crowd favourite Becky McDonough came close, a smokey run sealing El Toro Loco 25 points from the judging panel, one more than Evans and Blue Thunder could manage. Even ‘Kryptonite’ by 3 Doors Down couldn’t land Krmel and Superman more than 21 points, despite the best efforts to soar higher than both birds and planes.

Ringing the death knell on Musawwir’s chances though (with Spider-Man eventually finishing third overall), a superb run by Grave Digger – which ended upside down after an awkward landing – netting 29 points with only Maximum-D left to run. Two points the difference meant Van Horn once again took the spoils, much to the joy of fans holding Grave Digger signs aloft throughout the stadium.

Fireworks and pyro once again lit up the Abu Dhabi skyline, and the cheers once again began in earnest. No doubt the first Monster Jam event had left an impression on both drivers and fans alike, and news that a planned return next year is already well-underway hardly came as a surprise. ‘Bigger is always better’ as both the US and UAE so often demonstrate, and it doesn’t come much bigger than this.


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