Monday, March 09, 2009

Final Results of the Kuwait International Rally 2009

The final results of the Kuwait International Rally Championships can be found here.
Several cars did not make it thru the Rally... running out of fuel, technical problems and unfortunately also accidents.
One of the most likable drivers, A Sheik from Oman (Sheik Hammad Althani), had a terrible accident on 'my' stage in which his car flipped over several time and his Co-Driver (Arif Yousuf, UAE) received injuries to his neck and shoulder. As far as I know, both had to be carried to the Hospital for treatment. I don't think he will ever read this blog, but I would like to wish both of them the best for their recovery! The Kuwait times mentioned the accident today with a two line quote without giving any details or names.
Another car flipped causing the total destruction of the car but thanks to the safety gear both passengers got away with no or minor injuries.
"My" team and I had lots of fun helping at the event and taking care of timing, safety and other things for 2 stages of the Rally (Salmi and Mettla).
One rather funny fact of the Rally is that the 0 (zero) car got stuck on the stage in Mettla in a rather bad position. Now the 0 car is the last car of the organizers that is checking the stage for safety and the race is not supposed to start until it reaches the finish and reports that everything is clear. The stage was cleared despite the fact that the 0 car didn't make it all the way to the finish. 4 Rally cars where already on the stage and 1 of them already finished it and just 30 seconds before I was about to start a Kuwaiti team, the stage was closed to get the 0 car out of the way. It took them over 30 minutes to get it out of the deep, soft sand close to the finish. That gave us plenty of opportunity to chat with drivers and co-drivers. We took plenty of pictures with them and in return gave them water and cigarettes (I hope FIA doesn't read this... :P ... No one is supposed to smoke during the rally, specially not close to the cars!). One of the Kuwaiti drivers (I think it was Meshal Alnejadi, a super friendly and like able guy) told me I am his good-luck-charm since i started him on another stage the other day were he drove an amazing time and he asked me if I couldn't start him on ALL the remaining stages...
A British driver (David Scialom) even found the time to invite me to the after party 30 seconds before I started him.
All in all it was a great experience and worth waking up at 4 am in the morning to prepare the stages for 5 days. I got a decent tan, a lot of great memories, met great people and can proudly say that me and 'my' team made this Rally happen despite some organisational problems!

In a few weeks the local Kuwait Rally Championships will be held and I am looking forward to assist again... maybe at a different position this time! :)

P.S. I will post pictures and maybe some videos soon! Just need to collect the good ones first! :)

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