Al Rawahi wins the Oman rally title


Abdullah Al Rawahi drives during the Oman rally.

Muscat: Abdullah Al Rawahi became the first Omani in motorsport history to win the Oman Rally Sohar International 2021 yesterday.

Together with the Jordanian co-driver Ata Al Hmoud, Al Rawahi led his SRT Škoda Fabia Evo to a breathtaking start-to-finish victory with a lead of 21 minutes 22.5 seconds. The talented youngster joined veteran Nizar Al Shanfari (Qatar Rally – 1999) as one of only two Omanis in history to have won a run in the FIA ​​Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) since it was founded in 1984.

Al Rawahi won all 12 challenging gravel special stages of the event and gained valuable time behind the wheel of his new car before launching a full MERC campaign in 2022.

The feat means Omani becomes the 41st winner of a MERC event in the 221st round of the regional series of all time. Al Hmoud deservedly became the second Jordanian co-driver in the history of the championship to win a run of the series: his compatriot Khaled Zakaria took six wins in a short period alongside Mohammed Ben Sulayem and a single win in Jordan with Amjad Farrah.

“This is a fantastic result for me and the whole team at my first event in the car,” said Al Rawahi happily. “It was a perfect opportunity to gain further experience before the next season and to take a first MERC win. I thank my sponsors, everyone in the Oman Automobile Association for their efforts, and the SRT team for their support. “

Nasser Khalifa Al Atya from Qatar and the Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini overcame a time-consuming tire damage on the first day and secured second place in a Ford Fiesta R5. The former MERC runner-up set a series of second fastest times on the final day to overtake Zakariyah and Mohammed Al Amri. It was Al Amri’s consolation to lead his Subaru Impreza to success in the MERC2 section and, despite delays with mechanical problems in SS12, to land on the last step of the podium as third overall.

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