Amri finishes third at Jordan National Rally

Zakaria al Amri (fourth from left) and his co-driver with the trophy

Misfortune struck Oman’s young rally driver Abdullah al Rawahi and his co-driver Ata al Hmoud as brake system failed to force an early retirement in Group N category of the Jordan Rally in Amman, Jordan.

The other Omani driver in the class, Zakaria al Aufi and his navigator Amar al Balushi, managed to complete the gruelling rally and finish seventh.

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh al Attiyah survived a suspension scare on the first run through the Amar special stage, to secure a record-breaking eighth successive and 13th outright victory on Saturday.

However, it was Oman’s Zakaria al Amri and his co-driver Mohammed al Mazroui, who returned home with laurels as they finished third in the Jordan National Rally, which was held along side Jordan Rally, the second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship.

Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel were coasting to victory with a massive lead of over five minutes in their Autotek-run Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 but were forced to limp through two stages with broken suspension and sufficient repairs were made to enable the duo to finish with an eventual winning margin of 4min 08.2sec.

The result marked Attiyah’s 71st MERC win in the 212-event history of the regional series since its inception in 1984.

Kuwait’s Meshari Thefiri and Qatari navigator Nasser al Kuwari were the class of the MERC 2 (Group N) field. The defending champion was able to ease his pace over the closing kilometres and still managed to cross the finish line in fourth overall with a massive winning margin of 1hr 04min 25.2sec.

Salameh al Gammaz topped the standings among the Jordan National Rally entrants at the back of the field after overnight leader Tareq Taher was delayed and then retired in SS18.

Ziad Miqdad was second followed by Oman’s Amri among six entrants.

Amri said, “It was the biggest rally I had take part during my last eight years. I am very happy to have finished on the podium and fly the sultanate’s flag high.  “I would like to thank my co-driver Mohammed [al Mazroui] and also to my friends, Oman United Insurance and my team of mechanics for the success.”

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