Doom and Gloom, Boom and Bust, Fire and Brimstone, Credit and Crunch…………..but while things are bad, life, even in motorsport, goes on.
The Dakar Rally may be on the wrong side of the Atlantic but still the competitors struggle through deserts.
Autosport International will doubtless be a muted affair compared with recent years, but our leader will be there to report from the front.
Meanwhile I am basking in the Sun and anticipating the first endurance race of the season, the Dubai 24 Hours. 81 cars on the entry list and most travelling substantial distances, recession? What recession?
The paddock at Dubai Autodrome is full with containers being disgorged of their precious cargoes, cars, spares. tyres, stickers etc, etc. Today was the final day of preparation before the track gets busy tomorrow.
What are the ingredients that will make up the first race twice round the clock for 2009? As above, some 81 cars are on the list featuring 21 brands and I fell asleep counting the drivers, most of whom are gentlemen but reflecting the growing stature of the evnt there are a few famous names sprinkled into the mix. Johnny Herbert, Aidrian Newey and Herman Tilke of Formula One notoriety probably being the most recognisable. And don't ask me about the classes that the cars are slotted into, there's one for every kind of car.
The cars themselves are a diverse bunch, where else would an Aston Martin V8 Vantage or a GT2 Ferrari F430 mix it up with a Volvo S60 or a Mitsubishi Mirage? OK those of you paying attention at the back are muttering the Nurburgring 24 Hours and you would be right, the same ethos applies here in Dubai, as on the Nordschleife, only no polar bears and fog.
SpeedHunters has a standard bearer with the Hubert Bergh Motorsport Porsche 997 SuperCup with Magnus Ohman and Patrick Soderlund joing Hubert behind the wheel. So expect plenty of plugs for these guys and I expect you all to support this effort.
The plan for 2009 is for this SpeedHunters Wagen to be other races including the Nurburgring 24 Hours and of course we will be bringing you full coverage of that event.
The SpeedHunters' message is spreading and the coveted stickers will also be on the very special EVO X courtesy of Andy Barnes. A detailed look at this car will be served up in the next few days but they have the right karma and are definitely displaying the Right Stuff.
Today was time for checking over the engine and transmission. The car was in our coverage of the Britcar 24 Hours back last September when Andy B drove it, he should have been here in the Middle East but the business needs of the Autosport Show took priority.
Running multiple entries is something of a trend at this race and the almost the first friendly face I bump into is Cor Euser, famous for the rumbling Marcos GT2 and here it makes an appearance again in the company of two BMW 120d entries.
Mind you Frans Verschuur would say that was easy, he has five cars to look after, all Renaults, two Clio and three Megan Trophys. It makes a bit of a contrast from running an LMP2 Porsche Spyder to a class win in the LMS and Le Mans last year. The Dutch have always been up for a challenge.
Three time Grand Prix winner and victor of the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours might wonder what he is doing at Dubai but Johnny has always been a racer at heart and that never changes even with age. The Nissan 350Z will also feature on our pages soon.
Fresh over from the USA and ALMS is the ex Risi Competitzione Ferrari F430 and the new owner in Dubai asked " Beaky" Simms and the Risi crew to fly over and crew the race.
Illustrating the cosmopolitan nature of the event is the Holden Monaro that Mal Rose has brought over from Australia. It is an ex V8 Supercar that should prove really popular with the locals as it rumbles through the night.
Another one off is the mid engined Jaguar X-Type Silhoutte, more on that later.
Another solution to problem of how to win the race comes in the shape of the Audi R8, which is nothing to do with the AudiSport car that is in the pipeline. This is a development of the Creventic group, who are the organisers of the Dubai 24 Hours.
Another strong entry is the BMW Z4 M Coupe.
Yes even set up day is at the grindstone…………..
Organising the tyres for five cars is a nightmare especially as everyone remembers it raining during the night part of the race last year and not many had packed a full compliment of wets.
And some traditions in motorsport die hard, for Italian mechanics lunch without pasta is inconceivable. No gas? Just use the heaters……………..
And when the tyres are sorted the wheels need washing……………..all of them.
And when our tyre fitting heroes finish they get to do a fashion shoot with a bunch of bodacious babes who just happen to be in the paddock wearing cocktail dresses, I don't see this happening often at Silverstone.
A prize for the daftest headgear…………….
A message from our team………………..more tomorrow.