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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Bertens bags OIDC opening honours

Daham second, Hynes third; Haitham, Tarik shine

MUSCAT, JAN 14


Nikolass Bertens bagged the opening round honours of the Oman International Drift Championship 2023 in Muscat on Friday night.


At the Oman Automobile Association’s (OAA) Muscat Drift Arena in front of a capacity crowd, the drifting stars came up good to thrill the fans.


Latvian 17-year-old Bertens known as ‘Niknak’ in drift circles used his past experience at the OIDC to claim the top spot.


Jordan driver Ahmed Daham continued his ‘love affair’ with the OAA tournament by claiming the runner-up


position and Irish drifter Alan Hynes finished third for a promising start in the four-round event.


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Daham edged Hynes in the top 4 contest to enter the final against Bertens. Niknak beat compatriot Edgars Krogeris to enter the title-clash.


In the Middle East and North African (Mena) category, Ahmed Daham came on top followed by Omani drivers Haitham al Hadidi and Tariq al Shaihani.


The national category was topped by Haitham al Hadidi, while brothers Tarik al Shaihani and Ali al Shaihani claimed the second and third positions respectively.


OAA Chairman Brigadier (retd) Salim al Maskari said he was delighted with the turnout for the opening round of OIDC 2023.


“It was a great sight of the fans in full capacity enjoying the top level drifting experience at the OAA. Our team had worked hard to make this edition possible,” he said.


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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.


TOP DRIFTERS IN ACTION


A rich field of 60 drivers from 19 countries are in action in the fifth Oman International Drift Championship.


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 – are involved in four rounds of intense drift action at the OAA’s Muscat Drift Arena.


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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.


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.


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