Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sakhir Airstrip

That weekend Bob and I drove the Porsche 911 Targa down to the old Sakhir airstrip, which was built by the RAF before world war two. This is located just to the east of the new F1 racing track by the Jebel (Arabic for mountain). This airstrip was a 2.2 km asphalt strip (with a few pot holes) and virtually anyone who was anyone, went there on Thursdays and Fridays (the Arab weekend), to drive their cars up and down, either to parade the latest import or race each other. This was totally against the law but as all the Sheiks did it (and some of them were even police officers), so the traffic police used to just park up alongside, watch and accept it. A few people did drive very quickly and so we had a few races with the fastest racers there, driving cars like Dodge Chargers and Mustangs and we soundly beat all of them much to their dismay.
I had lightened the Porsche 911 before leaving London; by fitting plastic front and rear bumpers and the rear whale tail. I also had a pair of straight through 911R racing exhausts, which I had bolted onto the heat exchangers flanges in place of the muffler, so we certainly also sounded the part. Bob and I adjusted the fuel injection to get maximum power out of the engine considering the local Bahraini conditions.
The airstrip has recently been made into a new airport for executive and other aircraft and Bob Grafham informed me he was invited to attend an air show there in 2010.
From time to time we also went down to and drove the hill climb track in East Riffa, which was also a lot of fun. 

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