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Wahaibi wins Oman Rally Championship  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 17/12/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Hamed al Wahaibi took the third place in the fifth and final round of the Oman Rally Championship on Friday and logged enough points for the season - 36 overall - to claim the 2012 trophy in Muscat.In an exciting finish to the season, Khalid Soomar, along with co-driver Amer al Zadjali in their Mitsubishi Evo 7, won the concluding round of the 2012 competition, but settled for the overall runner-up position despite collecting 36 points.Soomar won the two-day-long last round in 1h11.43m. Of the five rounds, Wahaibi won the first three, while Soomar won rounds fourth and now fifth. Wahaibi won the 2012 title with a 3-2 head-to-head record of first-place finishes against Soomar. Wahaibi, driving a Yaris with Irish co-driver Allen Harryman, needed a third-place finish in the fifth round to reach the seasontopping 36-point mark.Khalid al Minji and co-driver Saif al Aisri, in their Mitsubishi Evo 8, finished second in the fifth round in 1h14.49m. Minji claimed the overall third position, logging 33 points. The Wahaibi-Harryman combination clocked 1h15.30m. A total of 11 race drivers participated in the concluding round of the 2012 edition of the championship. Wahaibi told Muscat Daily after the win, ''It has been a tight season. We needed at least a third position in this round and I am happy to have achieved it.I have won titles abroad, but winning my first Oman Rally title is special.'' The 42 year old thanked his crew and the Oman Automobile Club (OAC), the organiser, for promoting the sport in the sultanate. Wahaibi said, ''We had first-place finishes in the first three rounds. But after that winning start, we switched cars. We modified the car in our workshop in Muscat, here at the Wahaibi Motor Sports.'' Soomar, who won the Oman Rally crown in 2004, 2008 and 2011, said, ''One of the reasons why we missed out on the overall first position is that we had crashed out of the first-round race, we hadn't completed it.But then I am very happy with our efforts throughout the season.'' H E Rashad al Hinai, the Under-Secretary to the Ministry of Sports Affairs, was the chief guest at the concluding stage on Friday and gave away the prizes, along with Brig (Retd) Salim al Maskiry, the OAC's director. Maskiry said, ''We are happy with the kind of competition we have seen this year. The OAC is working hard to promote motor sports in Oman.The OAC's chairman, Hassan al Shureiki, is also keen on promoting go-karting, drag-racing and other activities apart from the rally next year onwards.''2012 standings [top five]: 1 Hamed al Wahaibi (36 pts), 2 Khalid Soomar (36), 3 Khalid al Manji (33), 4 Arif al Kiyumi (26), 5 Zakariya al Amri (12).

 






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