Oman: MENA Karting Championship ‘Nations Cup’ makes history in the region
Karting history will be made in Oman this weekend when the MENA Karting Championship Nations Cup 2020 event takes place in tandem with the UAE Rotax Max Challenge (RMC) at Muscat Speedway.
ASNs from the Middle East and North Africa region have selected the best of the best to contest the event with state-of-the-art Rotax-powered racing karts supplied by Birel Art, open to both MENA Nationals and residents.
Managing Director of the organising Oman Automobile Association (OAA) Suleiman Al Rawahi, said of the event: “The MENA Karting Championship concept itself is not new to all of us, but the final evolution is the result of significant contributions from many MENA ASNs over the past few years and we are proud to be able to host the first running of this exciting new platform in February with your kind support under the auspices of the FIA Sport Grant Programme.
“This has enabled us to put together this event as a template for similar future events in the MENA region. The event has been created specifically to ensure that future editions can be hosted by any MENA country with suitable facilities, with minimal annual investment,” added Al Rawahi.
This first edition of the MENA Karting Championship takes place on the fringes of the FIA MENA Congress in Muscat, with President Jean Todt among the dignitaries attending the gathering of international federation leaders in the Sultanate.
For this inaugural event, the OAA has tapped into support from Al Ain Raceway (AAR) management to assist with the administration, setup and running of this event. The organisation has vast experience in running the UAE Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) for almost two decades.
UAE RMC Championship Director Guy Sheffield explained his team’s involvement, “The MENA Karting Championship Nations Cup race weekend is based on the tried-and-tested RMC Grand Finals. This is a mini-version of the international event. It’s a formula that works.
“The MENA drivers eligible and put forward by the region’s ASNs will have race-ready karts at their disposal for the five-day event which began on Monday with the kart raffle and general admin that is part and parcel of the event.
“Drivers will have two days of practice and two days of racing during the course of the five days. At the same time, UAE RMC drivers will also be in the mix as this is the sixth round of their championship, so we expect an action-packed weekend at this very challenging race track,” added Sheffield.
The MENA RMC will feature the traditional MAX classes: Micro, Mini, Junior, Senior and DD2. Also on the bill will be RD1 Elite Sprint and Endurance races, which will be open for MENA residents as well as MENA Nationals.
Unofficial practice took place on Tuesday and Wednesday at the challenging Muscat Speedway, with official Qualifying Practice and the Heat races taking place on Thursday.
Friday is Finals day, with a warm-up in the morning, followed by the Pre-Finals and the drivers’ parade/photo before the Finals in the afternoon.