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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Drag racing’s the same the world over

Professional drag racing is a part of the sports scene in North America, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, South Africa, and most recently in the countries of the Persian Gulf including Qatar and Bahrain.

Often we here in the U.S. have the notion that we are unique. No one could care as much as we do about drag racing or winning or many other things.

A recent incident occurred during the fifth of the six race ALBA drag racing championship just served to remind us that drag racing as a sport crosses all boundaries and that  drag racers in that part of the world are basically the same as they here.

“This turn of events has ruined all of our good works.” 

-- Shiekh Khalid Al-Thani

The main teams of Qatar and Bahrain are staffed to a large degree by U.S. racers, engine builders, tuners and drivers and the race car of choice is Pro Modified. Another similarity is that one camp’s predominant car is a supercharged Pro Mod wheeled by Von Smith and tuned by Howard Moon and in the other camp nitrous engine guru Gene Fulton is calling the shots with help from Tommy Mauney and Rick Hickman.

Just as it is here in the States, the nitrous guys have no love lost for the supercharger guys and each want to win.

So let’s set the scene: after four races the three drivers from two different teams, Al-Anabi Racing and Bahrain 1 Racing, are virtually in a dead heat for the championship, A championship where each team owner has spent millions of dollars buying the best equipment, hiring the best tuners and racing hard. There is a lot of personal and national pride between the team owners, one of whom is part of the royal family in Qatar and the other the ruling family of Bahrain.

Last weekend the fifth race was scheduled to be held at Bahrain International Circuits dragstrip. The teams from both countries and their drivers and tuners showed up at the appropriate time to begin testing for the race.

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