Rally: Oman International Rally makes a welcome return to the calendar on Feb 6-8th

Rally: Oman International Rally makes a welcome return to the calendar on Feb 6-8th

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

MUSCAT (Oman): The Oman International Rally makes a welcome return to the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) calendar for the first time since 2015 on February 6th-8th.

Organised by the Oman Automobile Association (OAA), the special stage rally has been one of the most popular rounds of the regional series since its inception in 1984. The event offers some of the finest rallying terrain in the Middle East, with competitors able to enjoy fast, smooth and flowing gravel roads through the Hajar mountains.

Meshari Al-Thefiri is Kuwait’s top MERC driver.

The Oman event moves from its former date towards the end of the season to host the opening round of the MERC for the first time. Teams then heads off to Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan before the series concludes in Cyprus at the start of October.

It will be a counting round for the MERC, MERC 2, MERC 3 and MERC Junior Championship for Drivers.

Crews will tackle a short special stage (15.45hrs) after the ceremonial start (15.00hrs) at the headquarters of the OAA on Thursday, February 6th and two further legs of six stages apiece on February 7th and 8th. There will be 201 competitive kilometres in a compact route of 532.40km.

The event is being organised under the chairmanship of Rtd. Brigadier Salim Ali Al-Maskry with Anwar Ali Soomar working as Rally Director and Ahmed Abdullah Al-Zadjali appointed as Clerk of the Course.

Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah is the defending regional champion.

First held as a non-championship event in 1979 – when the Swedish duo of Harri Kallström and Claes Billstam were victorious in a Datsun 160 J – the event has seen many well known names grace its entry lists. Former winners include Swedish legend Björn Waldegård (1988), local hero Tony Georgiou (1992) and Qatar’s Saeed Al-Hajri (1983, 1984 and 1985).

But the two dominant forces over the years have been the UAE’s Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Qatar’s defending regional champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah. Ben Sulayem secured seven victories between 1986 and 1998 and Al-Attiyah currently has five victories to his name – 2003-2006 and 2015. The event was not held between 2008 and 2013 and since the Qatari’s last win with Matthieu Baumel in a Ford Fiesta RRC.

 

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1 hr ago

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Can't pick any team since Melbourne isn't going to happen because corona.

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Fantasy for the most predictable of all Motorsports? $$ subscriptions must be behind it..

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I sincerely hope that they are holding something in the locker. Because if they don’t and this is all they have to show for. I predict a very very tough season ahead. Which would prompt me to say that Binotto’s position is unattainable. Time to find a clear leader. Maybe even a Flavio Briatore.. Who might be an idiot at times, but has enough to get Ferrari where they need to be.

Well i don't blame him, because i have spun out of this corner million times in f1 game, it is very tricky corner indeed. Besides he was probably testing where the limits are.

I've never driven one but they must be really easy to spin with the amount of power they put through there rear wheels. Give the guy a brake I know for a fact any of us wouldn't be able to get past turn one.

The car bottomed out on the gravel and he spun. What’s the big news? Stop depicting Vettel as bad driver people.

If you aren't testing the limits of the car during testing, you may as well pack up and go home. Unfortunately he gave himself a bad rep for a habit of spinning so people will bash him for it. I actually hope he gets some confidence back and makes the season entertaining for the right reasons. But I still also think Ferrari got rid of the wrong driver.

I don't know about you. But I really believe in these red cars this year.

Total HILARIOUS meme to be had here.. Until you realise he's about the 10th driver to spin out so far this year and all that joyous meme humour fades away

Doesn't deserve to drive for Ferrari anymore. He definately had his best days. He's still a good driver, but that's about it.

Dunno if you can call this sandbagging anymore, prancing horses are looking worse and worse each year. Something needs to change for them and yesterday.

I mean, you have to practice to be as good at those spins as Vettel is. Might as well use testing as practice! 🙈

Best spin vettel had on his career

There goes Max Verstappen agai... oh no, it is another top driver.. see, little kids; more good drivers spin. It's part of the game. No go and contemplate the failures in your own life. (I did and I am far from perfect)

I wonder how vettel feels about all the critism of him spinning . I bet he wouldn't even attempt a spin move on the dance floor.

He has been in a habit of spinning the last few years, i dont know whats going on. Perhaps this cars design does not suit his driving style, but you gotta adapt.

Well one things for sure if you could be a world champion for spinning off the track with no other cars any where near you then Vettel would be a three time world champion in that category !!

This is literally so easy to do lmao it's called taking to much speed into a corner then hitting gravel with one side of the car causing those tyres to get dirty. This happens in any kind of motorsport to any driver chill out

He’s not going to be using that “lack of rear grip” excuse again this season surely? Any other top driver would work around that to suit their driving style

Certainly one of the grid's most consistent drivers.

Omfg 99% of people in comment section never drove a focking kart in their life but still talking about a 4-time world champion driving a Ferrari that is 1% of what it really was 20 years ago

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Unless you were sitting in the car, you have no idea what happened. It spun. End of story.

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Bold prediction guys - this season Ferrari will be last years Williams, Williams will be top 5 team this year.

Vettel taking the SF1000 for a spin. Literally.

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