The Oman Automobile Association (OAA) made it big on the occasion of Omani Women’s Day by organising the biggest gathering of women involved in motorsports in the Sultanate.
Some of the motorsports women from the GCC countries also took part in the special night of celebration at the OAA’s racing arena on Thursday.
The chief guest for the colourful festival was Her Highness Mira bint Mishal al Said. She congratulated the women involved in motorsports competitions and wished them very best in their future endeavours.
Mira al Said also appreciated the organisers efforts to stage such a “wonderful and fitting celebration” on the occasion of Omani Women’s Day, which falls on October 17.
Recently, Omani women drivers had shown great enthusiasm to participate in various events hosted by the Oman Automobile Association. During the first round of Oman Motorkhana Championship, women drivers outnumbered men who participated in the racing at the OAA racing arena.
Out of a total of 27 drivers, 17 were women. And, several women drivers performed impressively to share podium with male drivers in several mixed categories to justify their passion for motorsports.
WOMEN DRIVERS MAKE MARK
Women’s champion Ibthiaj al Hajri said she was proud of her achievement at the Motorkhana Championship, which was won overall by Oman rally star Zakariya al Aufi.
“It is a great moment for the women drivers in Oman. I had registered first for the competition. Several drivers followed suit and we had a good number of ladies taking part in the Motorkhana championship,” Ibthiaj said.
She posted the best time for a women driver with 1:15.427 in the second heats.
Former Oman drift champion Ali al Balushi said it was great to note the enthusiasm of the women drivers.
“The event’s highlight was the number of women drivers. We are happy to provide them all the facilities to fulfill their racing ambitions. This gives a new dimension to OAA’s racing programme,” the drift champion fondly called ‘Lalou’ said.
Ibthiaj also finished third in RWD Open category.
Promising woman driver Sanaa al Shukaily reflected on the dominating presence of women drivers in the championship.
“It is a real indicator of the current times. Lot of women are interested in motorsports in the Sultanate. We have 17 drivers here compared to 10 male drivers.”
Sanaa, who is a fan of Lewis Hamilton in Formula One, wants to take part in the Red Bull Car Park Drift in the future.
The highlights of the motorsports fest were Oman ladies car club exhibition, motor show which included classic, sports, 4×4 and motorbikes along with a motor spare parts exhibition.
There was a meet-up with Oman national champions in motorsports much to the excitement of the motorsports enthusiasts.
The family crowd — present during the festival from 5pm to 10 pm — were treated with several entertainment shows like ‘open car cinema’, fashion show, music shows which included national songs of Oman.
A kids zone was set up and quiz competitions were held with prizes given for various other fun contests too.
A food court on mobile trucks and an exhibition of home-made items also attracted the participants.