As a busy period of motorsport action takes place across the globe, Gary Meenaghan looks t five racers, both in car and on motorbike, who are taking centre stage in present, and who call the UAE home.
Khalid Al Qubaisi – Undoubtedly the local hero, Al Qubaisi has won the previous two 24 Hour races in Dubai and will begin tomorrow’s event confident he can complete a memorable treble. The Emirati is doubling his duties by entering as a member of two teams: His Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon will be favourites after last month’s victory at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi, but he will also race as part of Black Falcons 2.
Sam Sunderland – The Briton this week became the first UAE-based rider to win a stage of the Dakar Rally when he triumphed on Monday while riding from San Luis to San Rafael, in Argentina. The stage win took him to third in the overall standings of what is widely regarded as the toughest off-road rally in the world. The Honda rider had a fall the following day and got disoriented at 4000m, before an engine failure took him out of the competition on Wednesday.
Sebastian Husseini – The Dubai-born Husseini has been riding quad bikes since childhood. He has trained hard over the past year with Sam Sunderland, and the work is paying off as he has shown promise during the opening stages of the Dakar Rally. The Emirati, part of the GoKobra Team, was running in third before suffering a puncture during Stage 4 and losing 10 minutes.
Jordon Grogor – Grogor lives in Dubai and is out to spoil the party this weekend by derailing the Black Falcon behemoth. The South African, 32, is competing in the 24 Hour Race as part of Dragon Racing, who have entered two Ferraris. Champion of the Gulf Radical Cup in 2010, Grogor is a member of one of only six marques that Khaled Al Qubaisi accepts could beat the two-time winners.
Mohammed Al Owais – A UAE touring car champion, Al Owais is a member of Lap57, a local race team with rich pedigree in national racing. Having entered the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai, the Emirati – alongside Nadir Zuhour and Umair Khan – should provide intriguing viewing in the A2 class of the event from behind the wheel of a Honda.