MUSCAT, MARCH 24
Zakariya al Aufi with co-driver Ammar al Balushi on Mitsubishi Evo 9 emerged on top in the third round of the Oman Rally Championship 2017-18 held on Friday.
Saif al Harthy and Saif al Hinai on Mitsubishi Evo 10 claimed the second spot and Faisal al Rashdi and Waleed al Rashdi finished third on Subaru Impreza after the six stages held between Al Rusayl and Al Misfah for a total distance of 105.10 km.
“We are delighted after finishing the rally as toppers. It was a challenging race with the race venue offering high competition,” Zakariya and Ammar told Oman Daily Observer after receiving the trophy from Oman Automobile Association Chairman Brigadier Salim bin Ali al Maskari.
This was the second time Zakariya and Ammar topping the races after they won the second round held on January 19.
“It is good we were able to continue our good work from the last round. We hope to continue the same form in the last two rounds also,” the elated drivers added.
According to the organisers, the fourth and fifth (final) rounds are scheduled to be held by the year end.
Abdullah Ahmed Soomar, clerk of the race, said that he was satisfied with the conduct of the rally.
“Our team of experts have worked hard and the third round of Oman Rally has been completed successfully. The race course was challenging and competitive enough for all the drivers,” Soomar said.
“Among the 11 teams, we have four teams finishing the race on time. Other teams retired after different stages,” he said.
The fourth-placed team of Ghaith al Qassimi and Mohammed al Mazrui missed a podium place as they were slapped a five-minute penalty.
Third-placed Faisal and Waleed are on podium for the second time after finishing second in the second round.
Humaid al Waili, who retired in this edition with co-driver Mohammed al Omeri, had took the third spot in the second round along with co-driver Moadh al Shukairy.
The first stage was run for 11.8 km, the second stage was run for 8 km between Al Rusayl and Al Misfah. The first two stages were repeated for three times to reach the total distance of 105.10 km.
Anwar al Zadjali, Chairman of the Stewards, said the OAA was focused on the safety of the participating drivers.
“We at the OAA are happy that the races were completed with no injury or accidents,” he said.
The first round the rally was held on October 20, 2017 and Nizar al Shanfari with co-driver Yaqdhan al Rashdi taking the top spot.
There were no participants for the T3 category in the third round of the rally.
Oman Rally Championship 2017-18
Third round results
(Read as position, driver, co-driver, car, timings)
1Zakariya al Aufi/Ammar al Balushi Mitsubishi 0:34:28
2Saif al Harthy/Saif al Hinai Mitsubishi 0:36:20
3Faisal al Rashdi/Waleed al Rashdi Subaru 0:42:31
4Ghaith al Qassimi/Mohammed al Mazrui Mitsubishi 0:45:37 (5min penalty)
Elyas Qasim al Zadjali/Nooh al Raisi (Subaru), Abdullah al Rawahi/Waheeb al Kharusi (Subaru), Khalid Soomar/Mazin al Nadabi (Mitsubishi), Haitham Soomar/Ehab Soomar (Mitsubishi), Jarah al Touqi/Issa al Wardi (Mitsubishi) and Humaid al Waili/Mohammed al Omeri (Subaru)