Refurbishment of the Drag Strip at the Bahrain International Circuit

For the past five years I have been exporting faster and faster dragsters to the Gulf. The Bahrain International Circuit's drag strip was deemed unsafe and this season all races were cancelled. When one of my clients inquired about whether it was possible to repair the track, I researched the topic and eventually was hired to oversee the reconstruction. I subcontracted with a company called Penhall. The following is my 2007 excellent adventure to Bahrain.

Bahrain from the air. Bahrain is an Island south of Kuwait but north of Qatar and east of Saudi Arabia (it is connected to Saudia via a bridge).

Did I mention it was a Kingdom?

The Capital is Manama, and this is the Central Mosque

This is the grinder I shipped over there as it awaited us at the airport in Manama.

The airport's biggest forklift was 15,000 lbs. capacity and our little toy was 24,500 lbs. Evidently alterting them ahead of arrival was of no use.


Two forklifts were needed to raise it, then the skid was pulled out from under and the transport truck was backed under

Here is the grinder finally on the transport truck ready for taking to the track. It is now 11 pm and we have yet to leave for the hotel (despite arriving at 6 pm on our flight from London (sleep, who needs sleep?) Notice the bow in the flatbed truck.....

Off the Bahrain track...Manama is full of new high rises, indicative of the building boom going on all over the Middle East on with $90 oil

7 am the following day we arrive at the track to unload the equipment. The track was better prepared and things move swiftly

8 Skids of various tools were required as well

This is how bad the track was; imagine hitting this at 200 mph

Another bad area

Closeup of the ground area

View from the VIP tower, grinder, water truck and slurry truck to catch the waste water and ground concrete

The days were usually from 7AM until 11 PM, here we are grinding well past dark

Here is yours truly on the grinder

Those shiny things are diamonds in the grinding head

Nice sunset over the racing facility

View of Formula 1 track (only sanctioned facility in Middle East

Another view of Formula 1 track from top of VIP tower

Here I am with a formula 1 car in the welcome center

There is also a gokart track for the kids (and adults who feel like kids) This is no bumper car track, the gokarts there go up to 60 mph!!!!!

There was a garage full of "toys", including a row of promod race cars

Back to the track, both lanes finished and ready for small machine sanding (walk behind units) to remove the ridges

This is the end result after some grinding to remove the ridges. Smooth as your basement floor

After some painting and pulling rubber, the track ready for its first race

Sheikh Salman Al Khalifa came by to inspect the final work and have his picture taken with us in front of the VIP tower

After we were done in Bahrain I flew to Dubai to celebrate Hannukah with Sheikh Saeed and his family. Here I am lighting candles with Saeed and Hessa looking on

A feast for 4. There are 12 chickens of three types in that picture along with beans, kugel, beet salad, and of course desserts. Here I am with Hanna, Shk. Saeed's wife


Noodle Kugel

Cheesecake NY style

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Last updated 7 December 2007