Sony Thomas

Editor

Sony grew up in India at a time when drivers had the luxury of choosing between a Hindustan Ambassador or a Premier Padmini, and the only place to spot exotics were bedroom walls. No wonder then that he still thinks it takes three boxes to make a proper car. He drives a Camry and his favourite car in the whole wide world is a Jaguar XJ6. Having joined Gulf News in 2005, he moved to wheels at the first opportunity in early 2009. After more than eight years with the magazine as Deputy Editor, he took over the role of Editor in June 2017.

Dejan Jovanovic

Special contributor

After learning to speak by reciting model names of cars rolling down the street below, Dejan learned to drive on a donkey, clutching a steering wheel out of a wrecked Opel Rekord and with imagination playing a big part. Dejan then quickly progressed to things with actual wheels, including ‘his’ first vehicle he got at 11; a Fiat tractor. A lifetime of driving passion eventually ended up with a hope of an engineering degree, but a hateful science teacher put an end to that. He took the easy way out and became a journalist working in the field for the last 13 years, and with cars specifically since 2007.

Imran Malik

Features writer

Dubai-based Brit Imran loves classic American muscle cars and you can’t blame him for being fixated with those colourful Seventies street machines as they’re a rare sight around the tiny streets of London. He began his career as a journalist almost two decades ago and has been an integral part of the wheels team for the last eight years. Has an unhealthy obsession with Everton FC, Traveling Wilburys, Burt Reynolds and Pontiac Firebirds (owned three, sold one, immediately regretted it…)

Kinan Al Habbal

Web content editor

Kinan is a car buff with a vast collection of car magazines amassed over the last 20 years. As online content editor of wheels, he has a keen eye for detail when it comes to editing and specifications of cars. He is also a qualified mechanical engineer, with specialisation in automobiles. While he has nothing against supercars, he thinks the most important aspect of a car is its reliability. We forgive his choice of personal car, a 2015 Kia Optima, because he’s the nicest person in the world and the car has loads of rear legroom.

GUEST JUDGES

Tim Ansell

Industry veteran and former rally driver

Industry veteran, holds both a car and truck license, previously held an FIA International Rally license, and is currently training for his motor-cycle license. He has just taken delivery of a custom built 6x6 overland expedition truck which he designed himself, and will be driving home to England, on his own, around the entire African continent for 18 months. Yes he is mad, yes we are jealous.

In addition to writing for wheels, Tim is the Emirates Desert Championship’s official photographer, and a former member of the F1 recovery team at Yas Marina, In his spare time… are you kidding, he has no spare time!

Gautam Sharma

Veteran motoring journalist

Gautam’s love for cars began before he had even taken delivery of his first pedal-powered hotrod at age three. The affinity for all things wheeled only grew stronger in later years, so much so that he spent far more time with his nose in his father’s collection of car mags than his school books. Somehow scraping through school and university, Gautam realised a childhood dream by getting a break in motoring journalism in 1998 after banging down the doors of nearly every auto publishing house in Australia. He has subsequently honed his craft by working across a vast array of motoring publications and websites in Australia and the UAE. He’s rather handy behind the wheel of a car, too.