MUSCAT, NOV 16 – Zakariya al Amri and co-driver Mohammed al Amri in their Subaru STI claimed the top spot in the first round of Oman Rally Championship 2019-20 organised by the Oman Automobile Association (OAA) on Friday. The first round of Oman Rally was staged Murtafaat al Mataar (near Airport Heights Muscat) for 8.6 km, Madinat al Orfaan (near Airport Heights) for 10 km and OAA premises for 4 km. Each stage was repeated three times to complete the nine stages. Zakariya claimed the top podium by finishing in 1 hour 8 minutes 17 seconds, ahead of second-placed Jarah al Touqi by 1 minute 4 seconds. Jarrah and co-driver Issa al Wardi on Mitsubishi Evo 7 completed the rally in 1:09:21.
Zakariya expressed satisfaction after clinching the top prize. “We just kept our cool as there were some retirements during the stages. In the end, we managed to get past Jarah and Issa and win the first position,” the champion told Oman Observer. Gaith al Qassimi and co-driver Ahmed Jasim took the third position in their Mitsubishi Evo 6 by finishing in 1:11:00. Ali Somar and Taha Somar were fourth in Toyota Yaris (RC4 class), while Mohammed al Mazruoi and Wail al Shaibani ended overall fifth in Toyota Yaris in the same class.
DEFENDING CHAMPION RETIRES
Defending champion Zakariya al Aufi and co-driver Ammar al Balushi (Mitsubishi Evo 9), Abdullah al Rawahi and Jordan co-driver Ata Hmoud (Subaru STI) along with Humaid al Waili and Mazin al Nadabi (Mitsubishi Evo 8) – all retired after technical failures during different stages of the rally. Ahmed Soomar was the clerk of the course and Falah al Falahi was the chairman of stewards for the rally.
OAA Chairman Brigadier (retd) Salim bin Ali al Maskari gave away the trophies to the top three drivers.
“This is the first time we had three different venues for the Oman Rally. Though we had some incidents during the rally all the drivers were safe and the first round was completed. I congratulate the OAA officials and the drivers for the successful completion of the event,” the OAA chief added. OAA General Manager Sulaiman al Rawahi was also present during the colourful award ceremony at the OAA Speed Arena.