A rich field of 60 drivers from 19 countries are in action in the fifth Oman International Drift Championship being hosted by the Oman Automobile Association (OAA) from January 12 to February 17.
Some of the top drift drivers around the world, representing 19 countries -- Ghana, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Malaysia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, USA, El Salvador and Australia – will battle it out in four rounds of intense drift action at the OAA’s Muscat Drift Arena.
Defending champion is British contestant Steve Bugsy, who ended the three-year title run of Irish James Dean. Other contenders for the title in OIDC 2023 are Ukrainian Timur Lapsky, Lithuanian Benkidesas Cherba, and Dutchman Clint van Ort along with top class drifters from the Middle East and North Africa.
After each of the four rounds, the first three places will be crowned, and at the end of the fourth round, the champions will be announced.
The refereeing of the tournament will be run by a panel of veteran referees who are recognised for their competence through their management of many tournaments
Waddah Okbah, drift referee, speaking about the organising of the tournament said, “speaking from my experience being race director judge in the Middle East and recently I have drifting experience in Europe what the OIDC reached is if not equal, maybe it could be better than the international standards.”
A group of teams affiliated with the OAA is working for the success of the fifth edition of the championship. At the forefront of these teams is the Oman marshall team, as well as the technical inspection team. For cars, the Oman Medical Motorsports Team, the public parking organisation team, the safety team, and the team of security guards and media teams covering the tournament are in full support. Full cooperation is provided by the Royal Oman Police and the Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority.
Suleiman al Rawahi, OAA General Manager, said a large area has been allocated for the fans to enjoy the tournament along with an entire spot for families.
Al Rawahi said: “For those who could not attend the Arena, the competition will be broadcast live on Oman Automobile Association accounts on YouTube and Facebook.”
Contestants from the Middle East and the region, such as Oman’s Haitham al Hadidi and Jordan’s Ahmed Daham and Kuwaiti driver Ali Makseed, in addition to Qatari Mohammed al Jaber said they have prepared well for this tournament.
During the participation in several tournaments in the region during the last period, the results of most of the contestants were promising and gave an indication that the competition will be strong and wide open.
New drivers from Europe and Australia adds more flavour along with the first participation of Malaysian champion Fu Wei Shen.