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Oort claims opening honours

Cirba finishes second, Ahmed al Amri tops Mena section
OIDC Rd1 winners1. -- Faisal al Balushi
OIDC Rd1 winners1. -- Faisal al Balushi

MUSCAT: The Netherlands drifter Clint Oort edged Benekditas Cirba of Lithuania to clinch the top honours in the first round of the Oman International Drift Championship (OIDC) 2022 at the Muscat Drift Arena on Friday night.

A full-capacity crowd welcomed back the international drift event in Muscat, hosted by the Oman Automobile Association (OAA) after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 related situation.

The fourth edition of the much-followed motor-sports event saw 52 top drifters in action.

Steph Babbsy of the United Kingdom finished third after beating Oman’s Ahmed al Amri in the play-off for third place.

In the semifinals, Oort overcame the challenge of Babbsy while Cirba ended the campaign of Ahmed al Amri.

The preliminary qualification was held on Thursday, January 20.

In the concluding ceremony, chief guest Basil bin Ahmed al Rawas, Undersecretary at the Ministry for Culture, Sports and Youth, gave away the prizes for the top-placed drifters in various categories.

OAA Chairman Brigadier (Retd) Salim Ali Khalifa al Maskary congratulated the winners.

“Many congratulations to the winners and all the participants. We are delighted to organise our premier events after two years of uncertainty. Our team is fully prepared to stage the international events complying with the medical protocols and other safety measures,” Al Maskary said.

The event was sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Redbull Mobile and Zestino.


In the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) section, Ahmed al Amri emerged top followed by Ali Makhseed of Kuwait and Haitham al Hadidi of Oman.

Ahmed also topped the national drifters’ category. Haitham was second and Tariq al Shihani finished third.

Last edition runner-up Sebastian Peter Fontijn had to retire from the first-round action after his car met with an accident during the opening practice.

Fontijn, one of the favourites this season, missed the qualifying due to the accident.

The Dutchman hopes to take part in the second round on February 10 and 11. The third and final round is slated for February 17 and 18.

OAA Managing Director Suleiman Al Rawahi said the huge turnout showed the passion of the fans for drifting.

“Fans are our real strength. We have managed to permit the crowd after following the medical protocols. However, there was a good turnout of fans as international drifting returned after two years,” Al Rawahi said.

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