Bingley Harriers’ gold-medal winning Olympic triathlete Alistair Brownlee got the ‘inside track’ on Yas Marina Circuit ahead of his Arabian Gulf debut on Saturday at the fourth US$230,000 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
Putting the pedal to the metal on the iconic Yas Marina Circuit - which features in the unique, city wide triathlon’s 'pure power' course and is home to the emirate’s annual Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Brownlee’s race preparations were in top gear as he tried his luck against the 1,200 horsepower SuperComp Single-Seater Dragster, which hits 100km per hour in less than two seconds.
Racing alongside in a Chevrolet Camaro SS, fitted with a 400-horsepower 6.2-litre V8 engine, golden boy Brownlee put his reputation as the sport's fastest man to test in the United Arab Emirates' capital, and hopes taking on the circuit at lightning speeds will give him the edge against the stellar field come race day.
"It was an awesome experience, and has given me a few things to think about. I definitely got the inside track on some racing lines, and if I can get a fraction of the speed I did today, then I should be in good shape come the finish," said the 24-year-old Yorkshire star, whose brother, Jonathan, took triathlon bronze in London 2012.
The 5.5km Yas Marina Circuit has been a permanent fixture of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon route since the event’s inception four years ago.
Back-dropped by the iconic Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi - the world's only hotel to straddle a Grand Prix track - the circuit played an important role in the event being named the world's most glamorous triathlon in 2010.
This year's Abu Dhabi International Triathlon is the largest to date, with more than 2,000 athletes from 76 countries taking part, reaffirming its reputation as one of the world’s leading events-of-its-kind.