The recent finals of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship were run in Dubai in the UAE. Dubai also has good connections with Europe and is gaining attention as a great Middle Eastern resort. But if you drive out of town on the highway, about an hour later, the landscape dramatically changes. As far as the eye can see, the desert spreads. It is a shadeless world of scorching sand without relief from the relentless glare of the sun. Over terrain like this, competing as the top Middle Eastern team in the Championships, Team Abu Dhabi runs Japan-made Subaru Impreza rally cars.
The Australian manager of the team, Ron Cremen, had this to say, "Rallying is not like F1 or other circuit racing, which are run over a closed course that is maintained in good condition. No, a rally is severe test that involves a fight with nature. Come rain or storm, rally stages are hardly ever called off. When we are competing in Middle Eastern rallies, the worst enemy is sand. The more high-performance and precision dependent the devices you use, they more likely they are to get messed up by sand. The one exception has been the Toughbook; it has never failed.” Mr. Cremen, himself a world-famous rally driver in the past, is no stranger to racing from place to place in rallies in countries all over the world. He chose the Toughbook CF-19, both for its superior mobility among the field mobile Toughbook series, and because it can be used as a tablet computer. The team has been using it since the end of 2006, mounted in the car as a rally computer, and also in mechanical applications, including as the computer for engine tuning.