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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

OIDC adds fourth round in 2023 edition

Fifth edition begins with first round on Thursday

The Oman Automobile Association (OAA) has added an additional round in the much-popular Oman International Drift Championship (OIDC) for its fifth edition.


The OIDC 2023 started at the OAA’s Muscat Drift Arena on Thursday with the qualifications for the first round.


The second round will be held on January 19-20 and the third round on February 9-10. The tournament will hold the fourth and final round on February 16-17. The winners and the top-ranking drivers will be determined by the points earned from each round. Total points will be considered for the overall championship and rankings.


OAA Managing Director Suleiman al Rawahi said the OAA had worked hard to make this new edition possible in a good manner.


“We have international drivers, regional drivers and local drivers and we expect a great competition this edition. The OAA team worked very hard to get things in place and arrange an elaborate edition this year,” Al Rawahi told a press conference at the OAA Drift Arena on Wednesday night.


“Last year, we had a small-scale event in the summer. Of course, it helped to bring back the drivers to the competition after a long break due to the pandemic. This year, the event is going to its full strength and even better with an additional round,” he said.


Defending champion Steve Bugsy from Britain said he is happy to be back to Muscat.


ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY


On a query on adding a new round in the competition, Bugsy said it will give the drivers time to make a comeback if they suffer any technical issues in the earlier rounds.


“Four rounds for me is better as the drivers will get more opportunity to showcase their skills. We will get some comfort level to make a return to the contest if there is any bad luck or technical issues in any of the rounds. It also adds to the quality and competitiveness of the drifting event,” he said.


Lithuanian Benkidesas Cherba, Dutchman Clint van Ort and Ukrainian Timur Lapsky also spoke about their feelings on participating in the fifth edition.


Omani driver Haitham al Hadidi, Jordan’s Ahmed Daham, Kuwaiti driver Ali Makseed and Qatari Mohammed al Jaber will lead a strong challenge from the Middle East.


Haitham al Hadidi said that participating in the OIDC with the top class drivers had improved his skills and temperament to take part in top international drift events.


“I could excel and perform my best level in many regional and international drift events after achieving the confidence by competing at the OIDC,” Al Hadidi told Oman Observer.


Tournament Director Fahmi al Busaidy welcomed all the drivers to the fifth edition of OIDC and expected a fair and competitive event.


International drift referee Waddah Okbah opined that the OAA had a remarkable journey as far as organising motor sports events.


“It is not possible to sum up the journey of the OAA in a few minutes. They started from scratch and now are at a benchmark level in the Middle East. The championships like OIDC are on par with any top international drift events,” Okbah enthused.


“As far as judging is concerned, this year we have implemented a system for the drifters with the replay of the incidents or particular moments to arrive at a clear decision,” Okbah added.


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