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Race report by Nawaf Al-Abdulrazak
After coming back from Thailand and not having had any time to get set up and ready for the local national point races, I was hesitant to race my XRAY 808 ‘09 spec, especially knowing that my car was not ready to race since I did not perform after-race maintenance after Thailand.

Being hesitant at first, I finally decided to race just to ensure that I got enough points to keep my position in the overall national standings. What made matters even more complicated was that I was also the Race Director for the race and had to set up the local computer systems… which, as usual, required most of my time at the track. Result? 0 hours of sleep.

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Yet with no sleep and an unmaintained & unsetup car, I still decided to race. After the qualifying results were posted, to my complete surprise I made it into the finals!

Now I had to think of a strategy to race for 45 mins (with no sleep) and finish the race in one piece. I decided to not risk anything. The clock started and I pushed hard for the first 20 minutes. Well, at least I thought I was pushing hard since since everyone seemed much faster.

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Thirty minutes into the race my concentration started to wear thin from lack of sleep and knowing that I could pull a 9min pit time I decided to pit early. To his horror, my pitman started to yell back to me not to pit, but at that point I signaled him that I was too tired to hold 9min pitstops.

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About 95% of the rest of the drivers were pitting on 9 or 10min schedules yet I still continued to pit at 6min intervals. My pitman saw that I was having trouble focusing so he kept things in check and kept calling me in every 6 minutes so I would have a chance to refocus.

The buzzer went off at the end of the race, and as I was coming down the stairs thinking “well, at least I finished,” my pitman congratulated me on my 3rd place finish!

How in the world I managed to pull that off I have no idea, but one thing is for sure: a rock-solid car that just keeps on going really keeps things at ease. I really don’t think any other brand would have done half of what my XRAY 808 did in that race.

Final results:

1. Ali Bulail
2. Abdulaziz Mohammed
3. Nawaf Al-Abdulrazak XRAY XB808

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Point Race 3
Just another points race, but this time I had spent the day before working on my car on the track to get the settings in check and having 3 hours sleep after a complete breakdown the night before left me a bit more focused this time.

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With a very late kick-off due to system problems, the qualifiers got under way. Sure enough I made it into the finals, but I was not happy with the setup since the night before it rained and now things were no longer slick but rather it was grip heaven! This called for a back-to-the-workbench setup, which I was not very sure of but I had a 50/50 chance to get away with it.

The finals got underway and after a very bad start (being bumped left and right), with very aggressive inconsistent driving I managed to push my way up the 15 driver ladder to 4th spot and kept things there for a while.

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With my pitman working things out, I was pushing 3rd and then 2nd for the last 10 minutes. But then the lack of sleep started kicking in once again so I decided to keep things consistent and drive more relaxed.

A drive-by next to the pits showed that the pipe got a bad hit and engine could be going very lean, so I decided not to gamble knowing my position status. Back into the pits I went for a refuel and my pitman checked the pipe and quickly bent the stinger back into place. I was back in business but had to be careful to not allow the engine to overheat or bending the pipe any further.

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With the pipe bent and the shocks acting abnormal – possibly due to the shock boots being locked out – I just kept things easy to finish the race in 3rd position. Only afterwards did I find out that I was in fact 10 seconds ahead of 3rd position… I really finished 2nd !

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Final results:

1. Mohammed Al Hajri
2. Nawaf Al-Abdulrazak XRAY XB808
3. Abdulaziz Mohammed

With 2 national races and 2 podium finishes, it was clear to me that this buggy and I were going a long way if the jinx doesn’t cross our paths and (most importantly) I get enough sleep next time.

With a bit of luck and some chewing gum, 1st place should not be too hard to reach.