Sunday, February 05, 2023 | Rajab 13, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Haitham Soomar clinches the first round of Oman rally championship

Nine drivers finished out of 15 and six retired due to different reasons

Muscat: Young rally driver Haitham Khalid Soomar on Mitsubishi Evo 7 with codriver Wail Alshibani won the first round of Oman Rally championship after finishing six special stages at Al Misfah and Saal town at total time of one hour and eight minutes and fifty-nine seconds.


Meanwhile, Faisal Al-Rashidi on Subaru Impreza N 12 with Navigator Waleed Al Rashidi got the top second place with a difference of just one second behind Haitham Soomar.


The third place was won by the legend Nizar Al Shanfari on Can Am with his co- driver from UAE Ali Mirza. Hamed Al-Qasmini on Evo 8 reached fourth at the end of the rally and Mohamad Al-Shanfari on Yamaha Polaris finished fifth. The German driver Azar Pey on Can Am ended the rally in sixth position.


Abduallah Al-Zubair on Nissan Patrol and Issam Al-kharusi on Quad and Musab Soomar on Kia Rio are the three remaining drivers who finished the rally on Friday.


Due to some technical and other issues, six drivers left the rally early, where some of them had left in the late stages, Abdullah Al-Rawahi after holding the first stage at top of the list in Al Misfah with fastest time, left the rally in the second stage at Saal after he had a small accident which forced him to leave the rally early after he was one of the contenders to win the rally.


And the same has happened with Jarrah Al Toqi where he left the rally due to technical issue.


Rally driver Zakriya Al Aufi been forced to leave the rally also after a broken suspension, and another driver been forced to leave the rally due to broken wheel where Zakria Al Almri left the rally at stage 5.


After finishing all the six stages, brigadier retired Salim Ali Al Maskari, chairman, board of directors Oman Automobile Association distributed the winning trophies at Al Misfah, where the rally ceremony was held, and he appreciated the participants and the efforts of all the drivers and the organizers to join this rally and make it happen after a long stop due to Covid pandemic and he stated that all the precautions has been taken for the consideration for this pandemic during the rally on going time and he is thankful for all.


Haitham Soomar said ”Happy to win this title for the first time in my life and thanks goes to all for their support and specially my mechanics."


Meanwhile, Faisal al Rashidi appreciated the support of sponsors Al Madina Takaful and Oil field inspection services and wished all the success for his colleagues next time.


The next round of Oman rally championship will be held in coming December during Oman International rally and round four is expected to be organized in Duqm at the same month.


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