The people of the nations that comprise the Persian Gulf have an unbridled enthusiasm about racing and the automobile in general that you just have to admire. Sure, there’s a lot of money floating around in these nations that allows for such expensive hobbies, but deep down, there’s an aggressive automotive movement, a curiosity about cars and racing, that’s very much alive and growing there.
Stateside, we’ve seen the investments of these nations into motorsports, with entities in Qatar and Bahrain supporting teams and associations in drag racing and boat racing, even inviting our homegrown racers abroad to compete at their state-of-the-art venues for rabid crowds that simply can’t get enough of racing.
While motorsports is less in volume and perhaps a little less organized in the Persian Gulf, there’s no shortage of ingenuity, and when you add in the fact that the money exists to buy the best of the best in people, parts, and equipment from around the world, it creates not only some very impressive and unique machinery, but some record-setting stuff at that. And a perfect case in point is the exciting sand drag racing that’s put on in various Arab locales that is, to pout it simply, some truly crazy stuff to witness.
What would appear on the surface to be a rather primitive sport akin to demolition derbies with trucks built in a barn with old junk parts is anything but in these countries. Borrowing from drag racing technology, the owners and drivers of these machines utilize big money, big-inch engines with massive turbochargers, superchargers, and nitrous oxide to create some of the baddest sand drag machines in the world. Chances are, many of these engines are the product of top-name American engine builders, and among the competitors is even Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel star Khalid alBalooshi, who drives (or has driven) an Al-Anabi-backed pickup with nitrous oxide.
This stuff is nothing new – there’s been sand drag racing in the states for as long or longer than there’s been racing on pavement – but these countries have taken it to a whole new, crazy level with the insane contraptions they’ve put together. And man, do they haul ass and sound good doing it!
If you watch closely, you’ll notice some small, subtle connections to drag racing here in America. See if you can spot them.