Qatar 2008

After my successful refurbishment of the drag strip at the Bahrain International Circuit in 2007 I was engaged by the Qatar Race Club in 2008 to refurbish their drag strip. This new untreated concrete track had hills and valleys, large cracks and other issues. It was a fun trip, covering Qatar and Dubai.

The night before going to Qatar Micah and I went to Yankee stadium for our last visit to the "House that Ruth Built".

From here you can see the New Yankee stadium across the street.

I managed a booking on one of the first Emirates flights from Kennedy to Dubai on their new A380 jumbo jet. The plane is so big, there are 3 gangways. Also, business and first class can enter the plane directly from the Emirates private lounge area; you don't go into the terminal.

My seat, 12B on the upper deck. There is also a lounge area.

The seat has its own remote and to the left of the remote there is a refreshment area with drinks stocked before you get on the plane.

The first class area...there is a shower up front in this section

There is a channel to watch cameras front, back and under the plane. This is neat on takeoff but useless in flight. Also notice the large screen tv and electrical plugs. I'm told wireless internet is coming shortly.

Qatar is a booming oil rich Kingdom. This satellite image shows Saudi Arabia to the West (Qatar is a peninsula off Arabia just north of the UAE.

Qatar Racing Club from satellite photograph

Doha, the capital of Qatar is a very fast growing city full of interesting new buildings. Here is a view from across the channel of The Corniche, the new financial hub of Qatar. Few of these buildings existed 5 years ago!

Doha has some fascinating architecture. This is not a mirage, it's twin towers going up near the Doha Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The Doha Ritz-Carlton Hotel, our base of operations.

Looking down in the lobby from the roof.

My room.

The Sheraton in Doha. Very distinctive architecture.

And more buildings going up everywhere.

The Doha Souk.

More of the Souk.

More of the Souk. Wait, donkeys in Arabia?

The Doha Camel market.

Baby Camels (I've never seen baby camels before!).

Dinner at the track. An Arabian feast! A whole goat.

More of the dinner and me playing with my food!!!!

Here's our 23,500 lb. grinder being offloaded at the track the night of our arrival.

Sunset. Notice the water on the track, we had to wet the track to cool it before we started grinding. It was too hot during the day so we generally started grinding at sunset and went through the night until around 7 AM.

A prettier shot of the same sunset

Here you can see more of the imperfections in the track we were hired to smooth out

This is how bad the track was

More bad spots in concrete pour.

Closeup of the ground area, notice the amount of concrete we had to remove here. Other areas were so low we didn't have to remove much at all.

The slurry truck to capture the ground concrete and water.

Grinding at night

Bolt in concrete, this would not be good on a tire at 200mph!

Those shiny things are diamonds in the grinding head

The sun comes up while we are still working

Nothing shows the poor condition up as well as the end of the track when we had one last pass to go

Reminds me of snow.

After the grinding we polish the track with this machine. the finished product becomes smooth as a garage floor.

The new smooth finish.

The finished product. The tractors are equipped with "tire draggers" to coat the concrete with rubber for better traction. All the equipment in the picture was also supplied by my company.

One of the benefits of managing a project like this is play on the track with one of the Sheikh's toys.

Meanwhile upon completion of the job Shk. Khalid gave us dishdashes as presents for our good work. Here we are in our new clothes.