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Al Wahaibi seals superb fourth place and class win at Oregon Trail Rally

DUFUR (OREGON): Omani rally driver Hamed al Wahaibi maintained his composure and managed his pace to perfection to seal a superb fourth overall and confirm the RC2 class win on his first appearance in the Oregon Trail Rally.

After setting a string of fourth fastest times behind eventual winner Brandon Semenuk, runner-up Travis Pastrana and third-placed Ken Block through Saturday’s stages in the Golendale area of neighbouring Washington State, the 53-year-old and his New Zealand co-driver Tony Sircombe set several fourth fastest times again in Oregon’s Dufur region on Sunday.

Despite a puncture on Sunday afternoon, he conserved the McKenna Motorsport-run Ford Fiesta R5 through the closing gravel stages to finish in a comfortable fourth overall, over 2min 50sec in front of nearest rival Javier Castro and over five and a half minutes ahead of sixth-placed Enda McCormack.

Al Wahaibi’s much-vaunted class rival Kyle Tilley suffered electrical failure on Saturday. He traded some stage times with Al Wahaibi before crashing out on the 18th and final stage of the demanding three-day rally.

“I am very happy with the performance on this rally,” said Al Wahaibi.

“I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun with a good atmosphere. I am pleased with the result. We tried to get a bit closer to the Open cars but there was no chance. The stages were completely flat all the time. I will definitely be coming back to do more rallies in the United States.”

Al Wahaibi ran the Ford in the USA with logistical support from Asyad Express (an Omani delivery and logistics company) and Sandan Development LLC.

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