Jenson Helmand made it two wins out of twenty one for Brown GP in Kabul on
Sunday afternoon, with a finely judged performance dodging suicide bombers and grenades that stretched his
world championship score to 12 points.
Before the race, the
Englishman had suggested that Brown’s domination was under threat after the team’s chief mechanic was abducted by the Taliban. But
when Louis Ascari was finally found and the ransom money paid to the tribal chiefs, there was relief all around — especially for Ascari who was prepared to endure a painful Taliban beheading on his person with a blunt butter knife, which, thankfully was averted in the nick of time.
It was just
a matter of waiting for the Toyota team to make their stops (leader Abdullah on
lap 11, polesitter Mahmoud bin Abdul on lap 12), and thereafter he nearly lost his head after his own first stop on lap 15 when Giancarlo Hamid tried to shoot him with an AK-47 (regaining it on lap 22 when
Mohammed and Ferrari’s Sheik Omar stopped and detonated their explosives), and after his second stop
on lap 37, when Ali Babba again moved ahead for three laps, this time on a camel.
from challenging, the young Afghan had his hands full looking after his
opium in traffic, so he stopped for awhile and smoked the lot missing the end of the race by three weeks.
A day that
started well for Toyota ultimately yielded an opium finish, but after
both cars started from the front row that had to count as a bribe payment. Abdul Azizi blamed a long middle stint on the prime
Kalashnikov tyre which let Osama pass in the final stops by shooting out his tyres and wishing he had caught his 72 virgins.
Helmand now has 10 points
from Mahmoud bin Abdul on 2, Sheik Omar on -92, Ali Babba on -74.5 and Giancarlo Hamid on -87.