crankandpiston hits Umm Al-Quwain, UAE, to wander the Bin Jumah Motorsport Pro Sand Drag, er, paddock.
For those of you familiar with standing starts on asphalt, quarter mile sprints from the Christmas tree lights and the heady aroma of burnt rubber and VHT TrackBite lingering in the air, this might seem a little unorthodox.
On this particular drag strip there are no tuned Nissan GT-Rs, Chevrolet Corvettes or BMW M3s, their shouty performance left firmly in the shadows of the car park tonight. Of course no drag strip would be complete without a Nissan Patrol or retro style Toyota Land Cruiser taking to the starting blocks, their engine bays bulging with uber-tuned big blocks whose pistonheads are just minutes from hitting the bonnet. And tonight it’s no different. Sort of.
The glut of turbo/superchargers, plus missing body panels and front grilles, have probably given the game away that these are not your standard road legal family shifters. The power being turfed from these enormous blocks is frankly terrifying and well into the quadruple figures. Each has been meticulously honed (and will continue to be so during the course of the evening and many evenings thereafter) to optimise grunt and traction across the sand.
Consequently, performance garage personnel from the region are working furiously with spanners and monkey wrenches all around us, and there’s very few places you can look without seeing an ‘Extreme’ this or a ‘Victory’ that…
…then again some are slightly more laidback with their confidence.
For the regulars, this is just another day in the Arabian sand dragging office, as it was last weekend during the Bin Jumah Motorsport Pro Sand Drag event at the Emirates Motorplex in Umm Al Quwain, UAE. It’s professionally-run lunacy, and one which – thanks to sand being not exactly a rarity in the UAE – organisers and competitors alike hope will soon be acknowledged on a global level, as similar competitions in the US are fast becoming.