Muscat: Omani rally driver Zakaria al Amri accompanied by navigator Mohamed al Mazroui took podium place in the Jordan International Rally when he received the third place trophy in the National Rally of Jordan from Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Al Hussain. The rally which consisted of 21 stages over 224 km special stages around the Dead Sea in Jordan has witnessed Qatari champion Nasser al Attyah clinching the International title leaving the second place for his colleague Abdulaziz al Kuwari , where the third place went to the Jordanian Marouf Abu Samara.
Three Omani drivers participated in this rally where the youngest driver Abdullah al Rawahi with navigator Atta Hamoud from Jordan left the rally early when the breaking system failed to work in the first stage which ended with an early retirement after overlapping in the stage.
The third Omani rally driver in the fray was Zakaria al Aufi with co-driver Amar al Balushi who came up with an impressive performance to finish on the podium after a good performance in the local rallies. He lost about eight minutes in the first stage after slipping out of the stage with some damages to the car.
Returning back to the race, Al Aufi did very well after that, climbed up the sequence, and ended the first day fourth in the group. Putting a lot pressures on the drivers upfront, Zakaria entered the second day of the rally with a lot of confidence after maintaining the car in the garage. Zakaria drew very fast in the first two stages, but had another problem in fuel pump resulted in losing a lot of time and the organizing committee decided to disqualify him due to the late arrival of the start point of the third stage.
Even after disqualification, Al Aufi has four points from the first day’s attendance and got excellent pace to drive in hard and in a difficult terrain like Jordan Rally was aiming to compete in the future in similar rallies.
An official supporter has been with the three Omani drivers during the rally activities, where Falah al Falahi, Oman Automobile Association board member and Sulieman al Rawahi, GM, OAA witnessed the rally event and stages.
Meanwhile, Anwar Soomar al Zadjali did a very successful job as FIA chairman of the steward panel.
Zakaria al Amri and navigator Mohamed al Mazroui before ending the first day of the rally faced suspension problem in the car in the last stage of the morning session, which ended his day in the maintenance garage and early retirement, but he said that he would continue the rally in the second day as super rally.
Only a few drivers are left in the mix after technical problems and accidents. Zakaria’s car was ready for the competition on the second day after some good work by engineers in the garage. Zakaria’s car was ready for the competition for the second day where he had a nice start in the National Rally and won some stages.
Few drivers are left the rally due to technical problems and others due to accidents happened to their cars inside the stages, and after hard work in the garage done by the mechanics, Zakaria’s car was ready for the competition for the second day where he had a nice start in National rally and won some stages.
He said, “It was the most important rally in my life and the hardest during last eight years in my career in rally world. I am glad to end up with a trophy and third place in National rally of Jordan, it is an honour for me to be in this position”.
“Thanks goes to my assistant Mohamed al Mazroui who helped me a lot in this rally with his perfect notes and I am grateful to my mechanics Khalid al Amri and Shihab for their hard work and to Saif al Harthi, Salim al Abri and Mohamed al Omairi who came from Oman to help and support Oman drivers. I would like to thank my sponsor Oman United Insurance for their support”.
Abdullah al Rawahi who left the race early said “Well, we were optimistic and confident in the beginning of the race and prepared well, but with the break problem we had to retire early and tried the second day with the second car for training purpose but again retired”.
“Now we are looking forward for the next round of MERC and focusing on future competition for better results,’’ he added.