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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Ali Makhseed crowned OIDC overall champion

Cirba second, Nasser third; Al Amri third in Mena section
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MUSCAT, FEB 18


Kuwait’s Ali Makhseed was rewarded for his consistent performance in Oman International Drift Championship (OIDC) 2023 with the overall championship of the four-round tournament on Friday night.


Makhseed, who became the first Middle East drifter to take the top place in OIDC round during the third round, also scripted new history with the overall championship by finishing second in the last round.


El Salvador’s Nasser al Harbali, who missed out to the Kuwaiti drifter in last round final, made amends with a top place finish in the fourth round.


Crowd favourite Ali Makhseed said it was a feel good moment for him.


“I feel really good, I feel relieved. After years and years of hard work and determination, it finally led us to this moment. I think we made history today. This is not just my achievement, it is everyone’s achievement, OAA, OIDC and the Middle Eastern people’s achievement,” Ali said amid the crowd chanting his name during the award ceremony.


“So, I’m happy and honoured to be a part of this and hopefully we can come back next year and, in more years, to come. Thank you OAA, thank you OIDC and thank you Oman.”


He added: “We’ll be back a lot stronger and fishing for more, aiming for that first spot.”


Lithuanian driver Benediktas Cirba claimed the second overall position.


Cirba, who lost a place in last round’s top 3, was slightly disappointed with the way he performed.


He said: “This year I had come to win and that was the prime focus, but the runs not being perfect, it got difficult. However, this year was very hard to compete as the track was very tricky and the drivers were really good, so I’m still glad to get to where I am now.”


FINAL PUSH BY Al HARBALI


Al Harbali finished third overall after his strong performances in the last two rounds.


“I’m really happy and so proud of my team for making it to the overall as it wasn’t something we were thinking off. We had a goal just to get a chance to be on the podium in one of the rounds. To be here and say that I not only came first in this round but also won a place for the overall championship is a lot more than I was planning to achieve,” the drifter from El Salvador said.


In the Mena category, Ali Maksheed came top, followed by Jordan’s Ahmed Daham and Oman’s Ahmed al Amri.


In the National category, Ahmed al Amri was surpassed by points in the last round by Haitham al Hadidi to emerge overall winner. Tariq al Shaihani finished third.


Al Amri, who was on a winning streak in the last two rounds, was out during the Top 16 of fourth round.


Haitham al Hadidi said: “We have really enjoyed these past four rounds and it was just perfect. Everything went well. Many champions came from different countries and it turned out to be such a hard championship. All the winning drivers deserved it, and we are now preparing for the next season. Hope everyone enjoyed it and thanks to OAA and OIDC for such an amazing event and can’t wait to see you next year.”


OAA DELIVERS TOP-CLASS COMPETITION


In the fourth round, Haitham came second behind Makhseed in Mena category as Daham took third after 63 drivers made it to the competition.


The Oman Automobile Association (OAA) concluded a top-class drifting contest at its Muscat Drift Arena for a fifth edition.


Race Director, Fahmi Al Busaidi, said: “This year’s championship was very much different to the previous seasons and OAA is always looking to improve the event in many ways such as the technology used, training our marshals, and altering the track to competitive levels. The international drivers we had here had commented on the difficulty of the tracks, and how it was unlike to the ones they participated in other countries.”


“Organising such an event is not a one-day job. We started very early in preparing for this competition, coordinating with the various departments to deliver this championship at a professional standard,” he added.


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