INDIANAPOLIS – Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani, Al-Anabi Racing and Alan Johnson have agreed to a five-year contract extension, the team announced Sunday.
The Al-Anabi Racing team will continue to develop international awareness of the State of Qatar and highlight the nation’s international sports outreach through National Hot Rod Ass’n competition.
Like the last five years, Alan Johnson will continue to manage the Top Fuel portion of Al-Anabi Racing, a two-time NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship team, at least through the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. The team will continue to field two Top Fuel dragsters piloted by current drivers Khalid alBalooshi and Shawn Langdon.
“I am very pleased that we have the opportunity to build on our successful five years and want to thank Alan Johnson and all of the team members of Al-Anabi Racing who brought two championships and a winning esprit de corps to Al-Anabi Racing,” Al-Anabi Racing team owner Sheikh Khalid Al Thani said. “I know without the hard work of all the team members, we could not have had the record this team has amassed in our first five years. Our extension allows us to continue to invest in technology to push the envelope for even faster times.”
“We are extremely happy to extend our relationship with Sheikh Khalid, Al-Anabi Racing and the State of Qatar,” Al-Anabi Racing team manager Alan Johnson said. “We are very proud of our team’s accomplishments in its first five years. Through our working and personal relationships with Sheikh Khalid, we have enjoyed learning a great deal about the Qatari culture as well as Sheikh Khalid’s vision and commitment to the sport of drag racing and this great race team. Our relationship with Sheikh Khalid has been very rewarding in many ways.
“We look forward to the challenge of improving our performance both on and off the race track in the next five years. Since this race team began operation in 2009, our goal has been to win races and championships for Qatar and Sheikh Khalid – that will not change. In the next five years, everyone on our team will continue striving to be the best Top Fuel team in drag racing worldwide while providing additional international awareness of the State of Qatar, its industries, Motorsports and education initiatives.”
The team was extremely successful in its first five years finishing just two points out of the Top Fuel championship in 2009, its inaugural season. The following year, the team won the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship with driver Larry Dixon, and in 2011, team Al-Anabi successfully defended its World Championship with driver Del Worsham.