Makhseed crowned overall champion

Sports Sunday 19/February/2023 20:23 PM
By: Times News Service
Makhseed crowned overall champion

MUSCAT: Consistency has been the hallmark of Ali Makhseedas the Kuwaiti was crowned overall champion of the Oman International Drift Championship (OIDC) 2023 that concluded at the Drift Arena of the Oman Automobile Association (OAA) on Friday.

The four-round series saw Makhseed write a new chapter in the OIDC history books as he became the first drifter from the Middle East to claim the coveted overall title, having finished runner-up in the concluding round and clinching the top honours in the penultimate round.

El Salvador’s Nasser al Harbali won the final round while Lithuania’s BenediktasCirba ended up as overall runner-up after missing a podium in the fourth round.

A delighted Makhseed said: “I am overjoyed as this result has come after years and years of hard work. It is a proud moment for me to become the first drifter from the Middle East to win the overall title.”

Makhseed promised to come back stronger in the next edition and said: “I aim to retain the crown.”

Cirba, who finished behind Makhseed, said: “This year I had come to win the title. This year the competition was veryhard and the course was tricky.All the drivers were good. I’m still glad to manage an overall second place.”

Al Harbali finished third overall after his strong performances in the final two rounds.

He said: “I’m really happy and proud of my team for making it to the overall podium.

We had a goal to be on the podium in one of the rounds. And to win the final round and an overall third is much more than what I had initially set for, so I am very happy.”

In the MENA category, Ali Maksheedwas the overall champion, and was followed by Jordan’s

Ahmed Daham and Oman’s Ahmed al Amri.

In the overall National category, Haitham al Hadidi pushed Al Amrito second spot and take the top honours. Tariq alShaihani finished third.

Al Amri, who won the second and third rounds, made an early exit in the final round.

Overall National category winner Al Hadidi said: “We really enjoyed the four rounds. Many champions came fromdifferent countries and it turned out to be such a tough championship. Allthe winning drivers deserved it. I thank the OAA and OIDC for organisingsuchan amazing event.”

In the fourth round, Al Hadidi was second behind Makhseed in MENA category as Daham took third place. A total of 63 drivers took part in the competition.

This was the fifth edition of the OIDC organised by the OAA at its Muscat Drift Arena.

Race director Fahmi Al Busaidi said: “This year’s championship was quite different to the previous seasons. OAA is always looking toimprove the event. The course was very competitive and the participating drivers were all praise on the arrangements.”

Later, Brig (retd) Salim al Maskary, OAA chairman, gave away the trophies, in the presence of sponsors representatives and other officials.