Zakariya romps to Motorkhana overall crown

MUSCAT, Jan 15 – Zakariya al Aufi romped to Motorkhana overall title after narrowly missing the round three top position to Laith al Maawali at the Oman Automobile Association’s (OAA) Muscat Speedway on last Friday night.
Zakariya and his cousin Ammar al Balushi were level on 43 points to lead the overall championship challenge before the third and final round.
Ammar finished second overall after claiming the third spot in Friday’s final round.
A visibly happy Zakariya said it was a satisfactory performance after missing out on the second round of Oman Rally due to a hand injury just before the flag-off.
“The overall title in Motorkhana is a creditable achievement. Me, Ammar and Laith were all on the race for the top position in the final round. However, Laith prevailed with a narrow margin,” Al Aufi told Oman Daily Observer.
In the third round, Laith emerged on top with a best timing of 58.460 seconds. Zakariya was close second with 58.592 and Ammar was third on 58.766 seconds.
Laith improved his third place in the second round to first spot this round.
“I am very happy to make it to the top spot. Though I could not take part in the first round, I was able to deliver good performance in the last two rounds,” the oil field worker said.
Ammar said it was a good effort from him that fetched the overall second spot.
Zakariya, Ammar and overall third Nawaf al Balushi all belong to 968 Racing Team.
In section wise results of the third round, Laith al Maawali riding a Mitsubishi Evo 6 (58.460) finished top of AWD Open category. Mohammed al Mazroui was second (Subaru Impreza ST — 1:05.501) and Wail al Shaibani finished third (Mitsubishi Evo6 – 1:08.681).
In FWD Open, Zakariya al Aufi (Renault Clio — 58.592) claimed the top spot. Nawaf al Balushi (Honda Civic — 1:03.986) was second and Salim al Rawahi (Mini Cooper — 1:06.715) finished third.
In RWD Open, Ammar al Balushi riding a Honda S2000 (58.766) took top honours. Mustafa al Maamari (Scion FRS — 1:05.552) was second and Masoud Ali for Alfa Romeo Team (Alfa Romeo Giulia — 1:10.552) finished third.

IBTHIAJ GRABS WOMEN’S TITLE
In women’s section, Ibthiaj al Hajri easily claimed the overall title after powering to her third straight top podium spot.
“I am excited to continue to my good performance. I call on more women drivers to compete in the OAA competitions,” she said.
Ibthiaj, who competed in the RWD Open, clocked a best timing of 1:13.939 in heat two.
Zaher al Shaqsi was second and Houda al Raisi finished third.
Zaher said she is part of Oman Ladies Car Club and this was the first time that the women drivers took part in the OAA competition.
“I’m proud to represent the Ladies Car Club and happy to get good result competing with men. We hope more women will take part in the competition in the next season,” she said.
Esteqlal al Kharousi and Haima al Balushi completed the list of five women who competed in the round.