As the iconic RZR celebrates its 10th birthday this year, we take a look at the racers who have taken it to victory throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa. First up is Ahmed Al-Maqoodi from the UAE.
Winner of the 2016 Dubai International Rally and 2017 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Al-Maqoodi shares his thoughts on his Polaris Racing Team UAE RZR 1000 following his T3 category win.
“We finished 11th overall in Abu Dhabi and took the win in the T3 category. There were just three finishes in the class – all using Polaris machinery – so it’s testament to the resilience and reliability of the Polaris RZR. We won the Dubai International Rally last year but it is a bigger challenge for us to protect and keep the win for the years to come. Something we’re aiming to do. The Abu Dhabi Challenge is always a good experience because of its unique terrain and landscape.”
Teamwork is key to success according to Al-Maqoodi.
“It was the second year that I worked with Obaid Al-Ketbi as a navigator. He matches with the team perfectly and his expertise is always appreciated and he adds a lot of value to the team. Working with a trustworthy team – including the support team and SSE technical crew – is so important, then I can focus to achieve the main goal which is the win.
“It is the team who keep me motivated. When you have problems during the race, I just think that I don’t want to let down the team and sponsors so we use that as positive energy to continue on with the rally. After all, two months of preparation is a long time to just give up at the first sign of difficulty and not try your best.
“Standing on the podium is the pay back for all of our effort and it’s always special.”
Continuous development of the race machine and team is key to maintaining such race-winning potential.
“After each race we have a ‘wish-list’ of things we would like to work on – this list we have to look at in terms of amount of time we have until the next round and also the budget it will take to make the changes. There needs to be a balance of these factors taken into account when deciding what to focus on. As driver and navigator too, as each race passes we learn new skills which we then implement in the next race.”
What makes the RZR machine such a brilliant choice for racing?
“The RZR has the best suspension travel in the class, a reliable engine, fantastic ground clearance, brilliant comfort and impressive handling. It offers a complete package for us to race with. It’s not just the machine that makes it the best choice for us – but the parts and mechanical back up we receive from the local authorised distributor for Polaris, Specialized Sports Equipment.”
Ten years ago, Polaris changed the off-road world forever with the launch of the RZR 800. At 50-inches wide, the vehicle was the first trail-capable side-by-side offering a low centre of gravity, unparalleled handling, ground-hugging performance and unmatched acceleration for a true sport experience. Now, the iconic Polaris RZR is the considered the ultimate combination of power, suspension, agility and comfort. Fueled by relentless innovation, the Polaris RZR range has been designed to dominate every type of off-road terrain. From trail and desert riding to duning, rock crawling and mudding – the RZR allows users to do it all.
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Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with our RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; our SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; VICTORY® and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT®moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories sold under multiple recognizable brands, and has a growing presence in adjacent markets globally with products including military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. www.polaris.com