For the Love of the Sport by ProQuest


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									            For the Love of the Sport
 Al-Anabi team owner Sheikh Khalid is fueled by a passion for drag racing
A    t the risk of understating the
     obvious, Al-Anabi team owner
His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin
                                                                                                  Recently, Sheikh Khalid has
                                                                                              found success as a driver, winning
                                                                                              two of the first five events in the
Hamad Al-Thani is one of the most                                                             Arabian Drag Racing League. Under
influential figures not only in drag                                                          the guidance of his all-star crew,
racing but also in all of                                                                     which includes 12-time Top Alcohol
motorsports. After all, how many                                                              Funny Car world champion Frank
racers have been profiled in The                                                              Manzo, crew chief Howard Moon,
Wall Street Journal? Or have had                                                              and chassis builder Tim McAmis,
the opportunity to pilot an exotic                                                            Sheikh Khalid has made a number
Formula One race car? A member                                                                of 3.6-second runs at speeds over
of the ruling family in the Middle                                                            207 mph, which are some of the
East nation of Qatar, Sheikh                                                                  quickest and fastest eighth-mile Pro
Khalid is an intelligent, motivated                                                           Mod runs ever recorded.
individual who has a clear-cut                                                                    Helping drag racing continue
vision for the future of his country.                                                         its ascent as a global sport,
He is also true hot rodder at heart                                                           Sheikh Khalid also built the Qatar
with a deeply rooted passion for                                                              Race Club, a world-class racing
high-performance vehicles and a                                                               facility in the capital city of Doha,
keen interest in the mechanical                                                               which annually hosts a large
side of drag racing.                                                                          number of successful events.
    To most fans in the U.S., the                                                             With a long-range plan to help
most visible component of Al-Anabi                                                            grow the sport, including the
Racing (which loosely translated                                                              construction of the multipurpose
means “Go Team Maroon,” in                                                                    Qatar Motor City facility, he says
reference to the official color of                                                            the best is yet to come.
Qatar) is the two-car nitro team run                                                              Sheikh Khalid doesn’t grant
by Alan Johnson in the NHRA Full                                                              many interviews, preferring
Throttle Drag Racing Series. The                                                              instead to allow the spotlight to
team debuted in 2009, in which driver Larry Dixon won five          shine on his various teams and drivers, but he recently
events and came within two points of capturing his third Top        took time from his busy schedule to talk with National
Fuel world championship, and the team’s Funny Car driver, Del       DRAGSTER Senior Editor Kevin McKenna. Sheikh Khalid
Worsham, posted three wins and a respectable sixth-place            was very candid about his passion for racing, the success
finish. The Al-Anabi team also includes a stable of Pro Mod         of the Al-Anabi team, and his vision to use motorsports as
entries that compete at events around the world, including in the   a platform to boost awareness and create business
NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.               opportunities in the Middle East.

                                                                               Q: I’d like to first know how you became interested
                                                                               in high-performance cars and drag racing.
                                                                               A: As a youngster I was always driven to
                                                                               competition in all types of sports: football
                                                                               [soccer], motorsports, and scuba diving, albeit
                                                                               recreational. Several of my friends and I would
                                                                               salvage cars together and race them out in the
                                                                               ruins. Once I was in a position to have extremely
                                                                               fast production cars I quickly decided that they
                                                                               need to be raced on the dragstrip so I did my
                                                                               homework and became involved with building the
                                                                               QRC [Qatar Race Club].

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