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News in brief: Dubai show's sales success

Supercar carnage as Ferraris, Lambos, Mercs collide in Japan, Potenza day has potential and Potenza day has potential.

Exhibitors at the Dubai International Motor Show this year have reported excellent sales, with Shelby Supercars selling 10 Tuataras with a combined value of Dh48 million, the show's organising committee revealed last week.

The 11th edition of the show generated deals across the board, with economy, mid-range, luxury and supercar exhibitors all reporting an excellent response in terms of footfall, leads and sales.

Many even described their results on a par with the motor show boom year of 2007.

"This has been a huge show for us - we've sold 10 cars, which is phenomenal," said Jerod Shelby, founder of Shelby Supercars. "Our expectation was nothing more than to create awareness of the brand in this region and find a distributor, but this has been amazing."

The Tuatara costs US$1.3 million each (Dh4.78m).

For Porsche, the star of the show was the redesigned 911 Carrera. "As a result of a very busy show, we now have bulging order book for this head-turning vehicle," said George Wills, of Porsche Middle East and Africa.

More than 100,000 visitors attended the five-day show.

Supercar carnage as Ferraris, Lambos, Mercs collide in Japan

One wrong move from a Ferrari driver led to a crash that destroyed 14 vehicles, including eight Ferraris, three Mercedes, a Lamborghini, a Nissan Skyline and a Toyota Prius this week.

The accident took place this week on a wet, curved road in Japan as foreign car enthusiasts made their way from Kyushu to Hiroshima.

Reports have estimated the damage from the crash at 300 million (Dh14.1m), making it possibly one of the most expensive crashes ever.

While trying to overtake, the Ferrari driver lost control and hit the median, creating a reaction that caused the supercar destruction.

Thankfully, there were no serious injuries in the pile-up, except to the pockets of the car owners concerned.

Cars involved are believed to be Ferrari F355s, F430s, an F360, as well as a Lamborghini Diablo and a Mercedes CL600.

The carnage caused the road to be closed for six hours. It is not yet known why a Prius was alongside some of Europe's finest machines.

Potenza day has potential

Today is scheduled to be the second day of the Potenza Performance Challenge 2011, with 150 drivers taking part in three time-based challenges in performance vehicles at the Dubai Autodrome. The event, presented by Bridgestone, is aimed at promoting driving safety awareness in the UAE.

Today's competitions include "Target Braking", where the top 50 from the "Autocross Challenge", which was set to take place yesterday, will compete in Audi RS5s. The top 10 will then advance to "Time Attack", in which they'll take a single lap around the circuit in F3-style, single-seat track cars. The winner gets to drive home in a brand new Volkswagen Scirocco.

None of the entrants is allowed to have had a professional racing licence.

There are Xbox gaming challenges with several prizes to be won, drift-driving demonstrations, stunt bike performances, a "performance auto" exhibition and a tuner car show. Children can enjoy fun and games, facepainting and a play area.

Entrance fees are Dh40 for adults and Dh20 for children aged 12 to 18; children below 12 will be admitted free of charge. For details, visit www.potenzaperformance.com.

1955 Le Mans disaster crash car fetches Dh4.8m at auction

The Austin-Healey at the centre of the horrific 1955 Le Mans crash that left 84 people dead has been sold at auction for 843,000 (Dh4.83 million).

The 1953 car was being driven by Lance Macklin when it was involved in the incident with Mike Hawthorn in a Jaguar and Pierre Levegh in a Mercedes 300SLR.

When Hawthorn turned unexpectedly into the pit lane, Macklin's Austin-Healey had to swerve and bumped into the 300SLR at high speed, launching the Mercedes into the air and then into a crowded embankment where it caught fire. Levegh was killed along with 83 others.

Auctioneers Bonhams thought the car could fetch up to 500,000 but it sold for 843,000 last week at its auction at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, UK.

The Austin-Healey was among only four prototypes for the popular 100S and it was said to be in unrestored, "barn-find" condition when it was sold, according to www.jalopnik.com.

New York opts for poetry, art to get road safety message across

New York City's department of transport is trying out an innovative method to highlight road safety: art and poetry.

Across the city's five boroughs, 12 designs of colourful images accompanied by a short poem written as haiku - a Japanese poem of 17 syllables in three lines of five, seven and five - are being displayed on lampposts. Two of the artworks have been written in Spanish while 10 are in English.

One of the poems reads:

Oncoming cars rush

Each a three-tonne bullet

And you, flesh and bone.

"Poetry has a lot of power," artist John Morse told www.npr.org. "If you say to people: Walk, don't walk, or look both ways. If you can tweak it just a bit - and poetry does that - the device gives these simple words power.

"There's a lot of visual clutter, so the idea is to bring something that might catch someone's eye."

Morse says the images are proving popular as many people have responded with their own haiku.

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