Dodge Viper ACR shows its fangs at Saudi Time Attack

With three wins out of three, Abdul Aziz was crowned champion of the series. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 07 January 2019
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Dodge Viper ACR shows its fangs at Saudi Time Attack

The first-ever Saudi Time Attack series, held at the Reem International Circuit in Riyadh, saw Abdul Aziz, the SRT ambassador sponsored by United Motors Company (UMC), speed to the top spot in the inaugural three-round racing series, which started in October last year and ended in December.

The UMC is the sole distributor of Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Ram and Mopar.

As the event was being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia, excitement levels were high — so much so that the entry list was massively over-subscribed and the organizers even ran out of transponders (which are used to record data, times, etc.) and eventually had to stop accepting entries earlier than planned.

The competition facing the Dodge Viper was fierce, with a plethora of supercars competing, including the new Corvette ZR1, McLaren 675LT, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 488 and new Porsche 911 among others.

Abdul Aziz’s Dodge Viper ACR was bone stock as sold from the factory, but he was forced to move up a class because the specially developed soft compound Kumho tires (exclusively made for the Viper ACR) and the Viper’s huge rear wing were deemed as an advantage. 

The first round was all about key learnings and vehicle set-up and the team went about dialing in the Dodge Viper ACR. Being a manual — the Viper ACR is equipped with a Getrag 6-speed box — it took the team, assisted by the skilled factory-trained mechanics from UMC, some time to get the car up to speed.

This meant that the other teams, with their hi-tech computerized systems had an initial competitive edge. At this point, the main protagonists were Prince Mohammed in his McLaren as well as the new Corvette ZR1. A qualified racing driver who has participated in 24-hour events, Prince Mohammed was soon at the top of the time sheets.

Once the Dodge Viper ACR was dialed in though, Abdul Aziz put it through its paces and by the last session it was the fastest in its class — so fast that the Prince’s McLaren was pushed down the order, making an early exit.

Abdul Aziz took first position in his category, posting the second fastest time of the day and only trailing a fully modified Porsche pushing 700+ hp and on full racing slicks, by just 0.7 of a second.

Eventually, with three wins out of three, Abdul Aziz was crowned champion of the series. The Dodge Viper ACR was the most consistently fast car and the synergy between car and driver was clear for all to see.


STC wins Ookla award for fastest network in KSA

A man passes the Saudi Telecom STC office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 6, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 January 2019
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STC wins Ookla award for fastest network in KSA

Ookla, the company behind Speedtest for internet testing and analysis, has recognized Saudi Telecom Company (STC) as the “fastest mobile network” in Saudi Arabia. STC achieved a speed score of 29.99 Mbps, with an average download speed of 32.95 Mbps.
The award is an outcome of millions of tests actively initiated by customers across the network to check internet speeds using various applications, and web and mobile platforms.
The Speedtest awards for top providers are determined using a “Speed Score” that incorporates a measure of each provider’s network speeds (download and upload) to rank network speed performance. The STC network was determined as the fastest in the Kingdom.
The telecom giant plans to increase this speed dramatically in the next couple of years to provide “impressive speeds and incorporate future services with KPIs (key performance indicators) targeting higher data rates, very low latency, massive device connectivity, IoT and energy efficiency services.” To achieve this, STC is transforming its existing network, upgrading its 4G-LTE network and rolling out the 5G network.
Haithem Al-Faraj, senior vice president, tech and ops, STC, said: “Our mission has always been to enrich society by providing second-to-none experience with the network. We are continuously improving our network speeds and rolling out new network technologies and services. STC 4G network is transforming all the time to provide remarkably faster speeds.”
He added: “We are also commercially rolling out the 5G network to introduce innovative services to our deserving customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across the region. This esteemed Ookla award is a true manifestation of STC efforts to continually improve the network and get the network ready for the digital era, and to meet the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”
We are very proud of this award and look forward to many similar awards and successes in the near future.”
STC is playing a pivotal role in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as an enabler for digital transformation in the public and private sectors and in the development of telecommunications and ICT infrastructure.