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25% More participants for 2008 Al Ain Dune Championship

Al Ain Dune Championship - Abu DhabiRegistration has now closed for the Al Ain Dune Championship 2008 with a 25 per cent increase in the number of cars and bikes signed up to participate in this year’s event compared with last year. Already, some 60 entries have been made for the three classes of cars – eight cylinders, six cylinders and modified six cylinder cars – which are racing against the clock on the second day of the event, whilst around 140 have entered for the bikes and quad buggies that are racing on day one in five categories. In the modified section, drivers use turbo chargers, nitrous oxide, transbrakes and many other modifications to gain more climbing power.

The Al Ain Dune Championship, which is being held on May 1st and 2nd, is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs of U.A.E., and organized by the Abu Dhabi Motors Club (ADMC) with Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), and Al Ain Municipality Support. The event is being sponsored by ADNOC Distribution and the Al Jaber Group.

Each driver is given two attempts at driving to the top of a designated dune and driving down the other side. In last year’s trials the car competitors averaged times of between six and ten seconds. The five categories of bikes and buggies, on the other hand, completed the course in times of between five and eight seconds.

The championships are being held about 30kms outside Al Ain, on the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain road. Visitors coming from Dubai will need to drive all the way in to Al Ain and then to take the Abu Dhabi road, looking for signs to Al Saad.

The General Manager of ADMC, Abdullah Al Qubaisi explained that safety will be a number one priority for the event. “All participants in the time trials will need to arrive at least three hours before the start in order to have their vehicles checked by a technical committee,” he said. “There will be strict rules vigorously enforced, including the banning of tinted glass on the windshields. All competitors will need to show their driving licenses and under age competitors will not be allowed.

“In addition, all cars will need to be equipped with fire extinguishers and they will also need a main power switch to be fitted so that the engine can be easily switched off in the event of an emergency.

“All competitors – be they bike, dune buggy or car drivers – must wear safety helmets and appropriate racing clothes, and car drivers must use their safety belts,” Al Qubaisi concluded.

A number of winners and runners up from last year will be attempting to repeat their success at this year’s event. Particular competitors to watch out for in this regard are car drivers: Saeed bin Suroor, Rashed Matar Al Jabri, Yaacob Mubarak; and bike riders: Sheikh Nasser Abdullah Al Thani, Amer AL Jounaibi, Mansour Saleh, Saeed Mohammed Al Dhahari, Ahmed Buti Al Khaili.

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