Meet the Team!

Coursing through the sands in this classic struggle between man, machine and the unforgiving elements of the Arabian Desert, the team has covered many kilometres in race training.

Team Saluki brings a blend of maturity, expertise and determination that provides sponsors with results commensurate with their support and commitment. With the desert in their backyard, Team Saluki knows the terrain and is well prepared to do battle with the world’s best drivers on Team Saluki's home ground.

Mark Powell - (Driver) Team Founder and Owner. Based in the UAE in 1982, he is now a Business Manager for Serck Services International and has been involved in the UAE rally scene for the past ten years. With a 5th place (2002) and 7th place (2004) in the U.A.E. Desert Challenge under his belt, Mark has become the privateer driver the works teams look for over their shoulders!
Paul Richards - (Co-Driver) Has lived in the UAE for many years and knows the Liwa region, where the U.A.E. Desert Challenge is held, extremely well. Has experienced both the highs (5th place 2002) and lows (Broken C.V. joint 2003) of racing with Team Saluki. His experience makes him the ideal Team Manager, calmly controlling the support crews during the heat of the race. Now has his own business - ducking, diving, dodging and weaving. Appeared along-side Matt Damon in "Syriana"
James Thomas – (Camp Boss) Not because he's camp, but because he's in charge of the smooth running of the bivouac. James went rock climbing for 4 years and claims he 'earned' a geology degree as a result. So although he can't drive a tent peg into hard packed sand, he can describe the many interesting crystaline strata impeding its progress. Hmmm. He now has a proper job as a financial advisor and says things like "Don't spend all your money racing cars in the desert, save some for a rainy day." Weather forecast for the next 12 months in Dubai - Hot and Sunny.
Montgomery a.k.a. Monty to his friends, team mascot since being rescued by K9 Friends in Dubai in 2002. A pure bred desert Saluki, he stands 29” tall at the shoulder – so nothing on the kitchen worktop is safe. This lean, mean, hunting machine now provides security and debt-collection services for Al Thika Packaging. In his spare time he likes nothing better than terrorising the neighbours, eating, and posing for photos. He graciously allows Ian and Sheila to share his house and provide on-site catering.

'The Dog Handlers'

Introducing our 2008 Desert Challenge international support crew

The unsung heroes of our rally team, and if you've ever heard this lot singing, you'll know why. This year they hail from the pointiest bits of Scotland and the upper bits of England . Their desert survival skills are second to none - they've been known to work on two hours sleep a night for three nights, never washing and ingesting nothing but Pot Noodles and energy drinks. The rest of us sleep upwind. We pay them nothing, but boy do we get our money’s worth.

Craig McAteer (rhymes with racketeer but that’s probably just coincidence.). a.k.a. Mac. Press-ganged after two halves of shandy into coming out to assist Team Saluki in 2004. Daft enough to come back in 2005, 2006, 2007 and he's back again this year! What's the matter with the man? Works for an oil company that isn't our sponsor, so he hides his Saluki T shirts from his boss. Craig's hobbies include off-roading, and he is the world's only licensed AC Cobra aerobatics pilot. (You ask him..)
Keith Hopgood joins us again as our UK based International Communications Expert for Team Saluki. He knows his way about painting technology on an industrial scale but that doesn't excuse him for painting his own Landrover a lovely shade of pink. Sadly he misses out on the sun, the sand and of course the first hand experience of the challenge. We give him some Team shirts and he's more than happy.
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