Off the Beaten Track

Although ZRT Motorsports focusses on track racing, a number of it teams members assist other local teams in desert rallying (cars and bikes) and bike racing. So, as the team is currently in its off season, we thought we would look at what some of the team members do when ZRT Motorsport are not racing.

Richard Bailey & Jason Lyness

Richard and Jason have been helping Newtrix Racing  ( compete in the local desert rallying championships and UAE Desert Challenge (our local version of the Dakar Rally) for a couple of years.

You may think that there is no relation between rallying and endurance circuit racing. In actual fact there is a lot of cross over. The desert challenge is based at the grounds of the Qasr Al Sarab resort (270km from Dubai / 160 km from Abu Dhabi) and so planning to ensure you have the necessary tools and spares is vital (no local Motor Factors they can pop into).

Each stage has a service point, so Richard and Jason have to be mobile, know where the tools and spares are on the truck and be able to repair / replace or fabricate a bush repair as required.

Richard prepares a check list of service actions before the event, with additional tasks added as they are noted along with any repairs / part replacement works are identified.

The team has to agree on who is best suited to carry out certain tasks, agree on who will carry out each task (no point in 2 people doing the same task) and then update the check list when tasks have been completed.

Richard and Jason get to see how other teams work and the engineering ideas / solutions they have evolved.

So as you can see, there is lot of similarity between endurance racing and desert rallying and they can bring new ideas / solutions to the team which will help in the preparation and running of the teams car.

The 2016 UAE Desert Challenge has recently finished, and so here are a few pictures of Richard and Jason in action:

Post Prologue

The Rally Car: Nissan Patrol


The mobile workshop with Richards tools


Rally HQ / Service Centre

RB Welding Rear Axle

Day 1 service: Richard welding a crack on the rear axle


Day 2 Richard replacing a drive shaft


Evening service


Richard doing his Darth Vader impression

RB Fire Truck 1

Richard fixing a fire truck at a rally service


One of Jason (and Richard) helping Sabertooth Motorsports

Newtrix Racing finished the event in 23rd place. So well done Richard and Jason.


As a little side note, Ian competed as the navigator with the team in the 2011 Hail Baja (Saudi Arabia).