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Abdulla Al Khaja drives the Modular Performance 2001 Lincoln Navigator-engined Mustang which sports a four-valve turbo. The car was built in Kuwait by Saud Alzabin who has been building cars for six years. The beautiful artwork on the car, which can be seen in yesterday's Test and Tune gallery, was sponsored by Harley-Davidson of Kuwait.
Whilst your reporter has been working in the media centre, Andy Willsheer kindly brought back a couple of pit notes for us.
We have a couple of US legends with us this weekend, Joe Lepone and Pat Musi. They are working with Khaled Shatti and the McDonalds Pro Mod which was built by Jerry Haas. The engine is 737 ci with nitrous. Pat Musi is in charge of everything in front of the bellhousing whilst Joe Lepone is in charge of driver training, clutches and driver suspension.
This is a two-car team, the other being the ex-Pat Musi '69 Camaro SS. Ali Aryan drives this car which is owned by Khalil Toorani and he has clocked a best of 6.51/220. Ali will be driving a Bickel-built Pro Mod next season.
If you were tuned in to our coverage of last night's Test and Tune you will have noticed the number of vehicles which hit wheelspin off the line, and the extra sessions of track prep. Watching from the media centre it was pretty obvious that all was not well with the track as even street cars were having problems getting off the start line although Trev Capewell's 321 kmh blast last night showed that there was some grip to be had further down. It transpired that the glue was lifting off the track surface - burnouts were creating strings of glue not unlike the cobwebs we used to see with traction compound many years ago.
Of course this is the first major race since the start line was moved back some 500 feet so that part of the track is to all intents and purposes virgin.
After a very late finish last night and a very early start this morning the track crew have come to the conclusion that the two brands of glue which have been used on the strip are reacting adversely to one another. Historically the BIC drag strip has been sprayed with VP whereas the European track crew have been using VHT for the last week and a half.
Right now the track crew are spraying the track with solvent which will remove the top layer of VHT. Tests on the start line after cleaning have already proven positive even in the heat of the day, trial burnouts over the new coating of VP have worked just fine. The track crew are now very optimistic that the problem is solved and they are working very hard putting down solvent and then sledding the rest of the length of the strip.
The plan is to bring a couple of our Pro racers down at lunchtime to test the track surface and if all goes well to give both the National and Pro racers a Test and Tune session this afternoon. Stay tuned for details about that.
You will also remember from last night that our position in the media centre some 500 feet down the track made it difficult to identify the local race cars as they came past - trying to read shoe white numbers in night racing conditions when a vehicle is at speed is not an experience I can recommend. We were offered a place in Race Control, which was much appreciated, but Race Control has no web access so we would not be able to post reports. We have a possible solution in that we have control of the start line CCTV cameras which will allow us to zoom in on the vehicles and hopefully catch their numbers. Also we have been promised qualifying results for the National Championship on a round-by-round basis which will be of great help.
We'll be back at lunchtime with news of the runs to test the track surface.
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