When one thinks of exotic Oman it’s a jumble of exciting images: mountains; the Arabian Sea; the backdrop of dry, hot desert. To the untrained – and admittedly slightly casual – eye, whipping rain seems more like Morecambe than Muscat but that’s what the Live Demo team woke up to this morning as they set about our showcar run on the Omani capital’s Corniche.
Lesser mortals may have looked at the sky and called it a day but our Live Demo crew are hardcore and work on the basis that there's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, and so the show did, indeed, go on. Understandably the crowd was reduced from what we were predicting (waxed jackets and umbrellas not being household staples) but thousands upon thousands still braved the elements to see David Coulthard abuse the double championship-winning RB7 through the full panoply of donuts, burnouts and speed runs.
I hope this event will help develop that culture of racing going forwards.
DC, a native of Dumfries and Galloway, seemed entirely at home in the conditions. "From a personal point of view I'll definitely be coming back to Muscat. It's been a great trip: the people have been fantastic, the mountains, the coastline... yeah, very happy I drew this one!
The remit of the Live Demo team is to take our F1 cars to places where F1 cars are rarely, if ever, seen. We've been to some spectacularly remote destinations but for the most part they take F1 to countries that don't have a grand prix and thus an audience with no access to these fabulous machines – because nothing builds an F1 fan base like seeing and hearing an F1 car. "We've had the opportunity to discover the kind hospitality of the Omanis and, above that the passion they have for motorsport," continues DC. "They've got a small grassroots-level karting track here – but the size of the crowd that stood in the rain shows there's a much bigger passion for cars in general. I hope this event will help develop that culture of racing going forwards."
Our attention turns now to Shanghai and the Chinese Grand Prix – but the Live Demo team will be drying out kit and beginning work on their next spectacular event. Watch this space.