Oman International Rally returns

AL RAWAHI EXCELS
• Al Rawahi said it was a great feeling to be on the Merc podium along with some top rally drivers.
• In 2019, Abdullah became the first Omani and GCC driver to win Jordan Rally in its 45-year history.
• Al Rawahi was partnered by Jordanian Ata Hmoud in their Ford Fiesta R5 in the Oman International Rally.
• Al Attiyah kept his dominance of the opening leg of Merc 2020 Championship with a convincing start-to-finish victory.
• The Qatari and French co-driver Matthieu Baumel won each of the 12 special stages (SS9 was cancelled) in their Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 and romped to a winning margin of 5min 04.1sec on • Oman’s return to the regional series for the first time since 2015.
• The success was Al Attiyah’s sixth in Oman as he tries to break Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s record of seven wins in the Sultanate. Baumel has now won the event twice (2015 and 2020).
• Qatar’s Nasser Khalifa al Attiyah and Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini finished third in their Ford Fiesta R5s.

ZAKARIYA TAKES MERC 2 HONOURS
• Not to forget, Oman’s back-to-back rally champion Zakariya al Aufi converted his knowledge of the rally stages into a career-best performance in the Merc event to finish fourth.
• “This is my third Merc rally and my best ever performance so far. I am very happy to finish first in the Merc 2 category,” the winner of Oman Rally 2017-18 and 2018-19 said.
• Both Al Zubair and Jarah al Tauqi retired on the second loop with technical issues and that paved the way for fourth-placed Al Aufi to pip Al Thefiri, fifth, to Merc 2 honours. Omani drivers Khalid al Manji and Jassim al Muqahwi reached the finish sixth and seventh overall.