The 2023 Oman Worldwide Rally kicks off with a ceremonial begin at Muscat Drift Enviornment from 3pm right this moment afternoon. A 3.01 km tremendous particular will then comply with.
The Oman Vehicle Affiliation’s (OAA) flagship motorsport occasion will kick off the FIA ​​Center East Rally Championship (MERC), with rivals from 9 nations set to sort out 13 gravel particular levels on the course of the weekend earlier than arriving on the Muscat Drift Enviornment on Saturday afternoon. On a course of 613.06 km, 229.98 km can be timed.
Reigning regional champion Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah of Qatar and his Andorra-based co-driver Mathieu Baumel lead a 15-car FIA discipline. The Qatari is hoping to say a file eighth success on the Oman occasion so as to add to his earlier victories in 2003-2006, 2015, 2020 and 2022.
Baumel has taken the highest step of the rostrum twice, with Steve Lancaster and Chris Patterson additionally taking two wins apiece and Spaniard Alba Sanchez Gonzalez partnering al-Attiyah final 12 months when Baumel was unwell.
Competitors for the Volkswagen Polo GTi crew comes from Oman Rally Crew’s Abdullah al-Rawahi and his Jordanian co-driver Ata al-Hmoud. They gained the Oman occasion in 2021, the feat making al-Rawahi the second Omani nationwide to win a MERC spherical as a driver. The Czech crew of Petr Kacirek and Petra Rihakováa drive a Duck Racing Skoda Fabia and Qatari Nasser Khalifa al-Atya and his Italian teammate Giovanni Bernacchini drive a Ford Fiesta R5.
Whereas the Rally2 quartet are set to battle for general victory, there may be power in a MERC2 part the place a number of champion Meshari al-Thefiri hopes to reclaim a title that has been disputed between the Jordanian duo of Issa Abu Jamous and Ihab al-Shorafa in 2022.
The ninth and tenth generations of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution dominate a category that will even see three different Jordanian drivers – Shadi Shaban, Sheikh Bader al-Fayez and Shaker Jweihan – begin.
Native hopes relaxation on the shoulders of Abdullah al-Zubair and Zakariya al-Aamri in a pair of Subaru Imprezas, whereas Kuwaitis Mohamed al-Zafiri and Yousef al-Dhefiri and Lebanese Ahmad Khaled deepen the struggle for honors of their Mitsubishis. . A nationwide rally will run behind the FIA ​​principal occasion and has attracted 9 provisional starters (topic to closing scrutineering).
Haitham al-Soomar and Wael al-Shabani topped the leaderboard in 2022 of their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII and return to motion towards Ghaith al-Qasmi and Salim al-Touqi and a Subaru for Faisal al-Rashdi.
There may be additionally a trio of Yamaha YXZs for Mohamed al-Mazroui and Mutasim al-Balushi from Oman and Alain Nawfal from Lebanon, whereas Abdullah al-Toqi groups up with Austrian WRC star co-driver Ilka Minor in a Toyota Yaris .

Oman Worldwide Rally – finest entries
1. Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (AND) Volkswagen Polo GTI
2. Abdullah al-Rawahi (OMN)/Ata al-Hmoud (JOR) Skoda Fabia Evo
3. Nasser Khalifa al-Atya (QAT)/Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA) Ford Fiesta R5
4. Ihab al-Shorafa (JOR)/Yousef Juma (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
5. Issa Abu Jamous (JOR)/Emad Juma (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
6. Sheikh Bader al-Fayez (JOR)/TBA Mitsubishi Lanver Evo X
7. Shadi Shaban (JOR)/Samer Issa (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
8. Mohamed al-Zafiri (KWT)/Suleiman Al-Helal (KWT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
9. Meshari al-Thefiri (KWT)/Nasser al-Kuwari (QAT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
10. Abdullah al-Zubair (OMN)/Taha Soomar (OMN) Subaru Impreza STi
11. Yousef al-Dhefiri (KWT)/Carlos Hanna (LEB) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
12. Ahmad Khaled (LEB)/Samer Sfeir (LEB) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
14. Shaker Jweihan (JOR)/Nancy al-Majali (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
15. Petr Kacirek (CZE)/Petra Rihakova (CZE) Skoda Fabia R5
16. Zakariya al-Aamri (OMN)/Mohamed al-Aamri (OMN) Subaru Impreza STI

Associated story

Toyota driver Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar and French co-driver Mathieu Baumel battle it out during the second stage of the 2023 Dakar Rally between Sea Camp and al-Ula in Saudi Arabia.  AFP

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