QATAR UPDATES: HOSSLER AND CASTELLANA LEAD THIRD EVENT!
A nightmarish day and night for officials of the Qatar Racing Club track near the capitol city of Doha forced the cancellation of the last of three scheduled qualifying sessions on the first day of the third event in the 2013 Arabian Drag Racing League International Championships. While Alex Hossler, Mike Castellana and Todd Tutterow led the three top divisions, none of the World Records seemingly produced daily at the QRC facility were threatened.
Shortly after testing the timing system prior to the start of qualifying, officials scrambled when the QRC's main computer crashed and a back-up system was installed and configured for competition. The resulting delay pushed the start of the first qualifying period into the nighttime hours and a major oildown through the shutdown area of the track during that session only lengthened the day. During the second round of qualifying for the Super Street six-cylinder division just prior to the start of the third session for all classes, Kuwait's Mohammed al-Aghber and United Arab Emirates racer Talal al-Dhanhani left the line on their standard low-five second pace when al-Dhanhani's Nissan oiled its tires and crossed behind, (and within inches of), al-Aghber's Toyota before making contact with the wall. The UAE pilot was tossed around quite severely but was uninjured in the impact and managed to bring his mount to a halt near the finish line. The full-track oildown, (which covered two lanes), incurred in the incident was enough for officials to call a halt to the day's activities.
At the wheel of Sheikh Khalid al-Thani's new Al Anabi '69 Camaro from Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Hossler and crewchief Frank Manzo were brutally consistent with runs of 3.583/210.09 and 3.575 seconds at a best speed of 211.16 miles per hour. Frankie "Mad Man" Taylor's Jeffers Race Cars-built '06 Corvette broke a supercharger shaft on his first effort and then shook the tires on his second pass but not before clocking a sixty-feet elapsed time of 0.889 seconds. Taylor's launch would be an amazing effort if not for his astonishing 0.874 and 0.877 blasts clocked during testing on Wednesday. Von Smith, in Howard Moon's Bickel-built "Rage" '69 Camaro, ran 3.60/209.79 in the first session and, alongside Taylor's 0.889, posted his own career-best "sixty" of 0.891 seconds before suffering violent tire shake. The Garrett Race Cars '69 Camaro being driven by Joey Martin remained in the QRC facility's lavish team shops due to minor chassis repair needed after Wednesday's testing but all reports indicate Martin will be ready for the final qualifying session on Friday.
Mike Castellana's Shannon Jenkins-tuned Al-Anabi 2013 Camaro, (to which we've erroneously referred in our coverage as a 1969 model), continued its amazing streak in Qatar by once again qualifying atop the Pro Nitrous Eliminator field with a best of 3.757/198.03, However, as displayed in Wednesday testing, the rest of the field inched closer to the New Yorker. Qatar's Mahana al-Naemi in the orange-and-blue SpeedTech '68 Camaro, (3.800/197.51), UAE racer Sultan al-Zaabi in the blue Qatar Racing Club '68 Camaro, (a series-best 3.821/194.16), UAE PN and TF star Khalid al-Balooshi in the blue-and-silver SpeedTech '68 Camaro, (3.842/197.10), South Carolina's Stevie "Fast" Jackson in the burgundy Al-Anabi '69 Camaro, (3.847/191.95), Kuwait's Bader Khourshid in his blue-and-white Bickel '69 Camaro, (a series-best 3.852/195.73), and the maroon SPG Racing '68 Firebird of the UAE's Rashid bin Tamim, (a series-best 3.867/196.56), produced an amaingly quick field in only two attempts. Surprisingly, Khalid Abdulla's red E-Kanoo '68 Camaro, which has recorded a stunning best of 3.801/198.12 during the series, did not attempt to qualify on Thursday.
Todd Tutterow pushed the Al-Anabi supercharged 2010 Corvette to a solid 4.051/190.81 to lead the Outlaw 10.5 category but all eyes were on Tim Lynch; the Georgia veteran took delivery of his familiar turbocharged ProLine 2012 Corvette which was airfreighted to Qatar during the week. Lynch, who ran as quick as 4.030/198.52 during the series while driving the ex-Dan Millen Al-Anabi turbocharged '99 Ford Mustang, has been unable to get anything better than a shut-off 4.430 from the Chevy since it arrived on Tuesday. Fellow Georgian Mike Hill is currently second behind Tutterow in the nitrous oxide-injected Al-Anabi 2005 Mustang with a 4.287/171.79 best.
The final qualifying session and eliminations for the third event in the 2013 Arabian Drag Racing League International Championship event will be held Friday, February 1. Competition Plus will present updates and complete coverage.
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