Sheikh Khalid's Al-Anabi Drag Racing Team
When you think of a prince or a king from the Middle East, one tends to have a stereotypical view. Not only as to how they look and dress, but their interests in mostly non-American type sports or culture. Well, this is not the case with Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani who was with his drag racing team at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals qualifying with some awesome dragsters.
The Al-Anabi drag team his this prince's passion, developed when he was a kid. He loved race cars and racing them as he got older. Set to be the King of this small nation on the Persian Gulf, he is only 26 yrs. Qatar sits on vast amounts of oil and natural gas and his family controls much of it, so there is no shortage of money.
Looking to spread the Qatar name and image around the world, this prince decided on the very American sport of drag racing, spending $10 million to start it in 2009. He hired some of the best drivers and mechanics in the business for his team.
Some sheikhs prefer soccer or horse racing, this prince did not might being a grease monkey in his youth, working hard and getting his hands dirty.Their dragsters have done well but have not dominated the drag racing scene, yet, on the back of them is the word, Qatar. Some Americans think that is some oil or fuel additive or wonder how to even pronounce the word. The most funny thing is that the prince was at the Sonoma Nationals and most would have no clue. He wore jeans, T-shirt, sandals and ball cap. He looked like a professional somebody dressed for the weekend, but a near King? In the stands, he was easygoing and cracking jokes about his past mechanic skills tuning cars with team members.
Their drag car is ripping- 0 to 100 mph in .9 seconds, how about 0-275 mph in 3 seconds! At launch, the dragster whips out 4.7 g-forces, which is faster than a jet aircraft.
This future king is sowing better relationships with the USA by using the old adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans". This is especially true since 9\11 attacks. His father is the King and Qatar is the most progressive of all the Arab nations- women can vote and run for political office, Al-Jazeera news is based there, although they will debut in the America soon.
There are some differences: instead of beer in the team area, there are 12 types of tea and children are welcome, his four year daughter was riding on a scooter and then there was Ramadan, observed my Muslims around the world where they are suppose to fast from sunrise to sunset. Well, like anything, there are always exceptions and American drag racing is one.