This entry is so late, I've had to change its title! I heard about the sixth GulfRun, which was held January this year, back in late November of last year. I blocked the dates in my diary and took a day off from work ahead of time. This was to be a weekend in Bahrain with the family - but with a difference: We would visit our friends there but also get to see the F1 track. I sent an email to the address on the GulfRun website. I wanted to make sure that we could attend without having a participating car. I still remember it was past 11pm when I sent the email in; I got a lovely email back from their Manager - Khaled Al Fraih - within twenty minutes, welcoming us all to attend. I told the family the next morning.
We attended part of the first day of the two-day event. For me it was a treat and came at the perfect time giving me a break from a very busy start to the year. My wife and Noor enjoyed it, but nowhere near as much as Yousef did. He could not stop watching and wanted to know everything about every car... all the time. His dream car is currently - and has been for the past year - the Audi R8. I bought him a scaled model and it sits proudly in his room. On the day he got to see two! One of which was a v10. By this time, Noor had stolen my jacket and was looking for a place for a nap.
The event was beautifully organised and the pride in the cars was clear with announcement of detailing available during certain times. Safety was clearly a high priority and whilst they took their cars to their limits, there was a limit to what they did. I was very proud of the young Kuwaiti men, drivers, organisers and crowd. It was a pleasure for me to bring Yousef to be there and see an alternative to a race on a public highway!
I found a nice spot on the side of the track to get close ups of the cars and immediately spotted Marzouq. I only know Marzouq online, but I feel as though I've known him for years. On the day I got to meet him briefly and he immediately offered me a ride around the track. It was unfortunately time to go and we couldn't attend the second day - so no shots from inside cars this time. Below is his impressive M6.
I had my two Nikons with me on this trip: my D70 with a wide angle lens to get the shots of the drivers resting, preparing etc, and a telephoto lens on my D300 for the cars on track. I lost everything shot on the D70! I had heard it before but only remembered when it was tool late... If your memory card starts getting full, don't go all the way to zero! The combination of this and an old low-quality (cheap) card means I lost them all. That card was not meant for the camera... I use it for an electronic frame. It found its way to my D70 and because of it I lost some nice shots of the people who made the day possible. Sorry.
I can't close this post without talking about Bahrain, a dear place to my heart. I love its people and their kindness. I visit at least once every two months, either for business meetings there or to go to Khobar across the now-infamous Causeway. It's still shocking to think that things became so bad, so quickly, that the F1 race which was to be held at this very circuit was cancelled this year! Even if they are no longer making the world headlines, they are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope the smiles are back on all Bahrainis' faces before long.