Oman Rally team’s Al-Rawahi and Al-Hmoud suffer Merc title setback after accident at Jordan Rally

Sports Friday 17/May/2024 18:17 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman Rally team’s Al-Rawahi and Al-Hmoud suffer Merc title setback after accident at Jordan Rally

Muscat: Oman’s Abdullah Al-Rawahi and his Jordanian co-driver Ata Al-Hmoud were leading the Jordan Rally and matching the pace set by 19-time FIA Middle East rally champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah when they suffered a setback on the third stage, near the Dead Sea, on Friday morning.


After trailing the Qatari by just 4.6 seconds after the opening stage, near Mount Nebo, the Omani clocked the fastest time on the second timed test and took advantage of a spin by his rival to move into an outright lead of 11.2 seconds.


Al-Rawahi attacked the stage near the Baptism Site at one of the lowest land points on earth but suffered cruel luck when his Škoda Fabia, which is prepared and run by Autotek Motorsport with new sponsorship from Al-Manar Financial Investments, suffered radiator and possible engine damage after an accident.


As Al-Rawahi explained: “The first two stages were quite good. We struggled a bit with the grip but that was for all. In the third, we retired from the rally after the finish. I think I have a problem with the engine. We will check it when the car comes back. Overall, I am happy and sad at the same time. The pace was there but we had to retire. Let’s see if we can continue tomorrow to get some points for the championship.


“This is rallying. We reached a corner where it was tightening and it was quite narrow. I misjudged it and went a bit too fast and went sideways and had to turn the other way so I didn’t end up flipping. We got the damage and we tried to make the finish but we had to stop. We had an alarm.”


With the pressure noticeably eased, Al-Attiyah and his Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini built up a useful lead during the afternoon.


After five special stages in the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea areas, the Qatari led fellow countryman Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and his British co-driver Marshall Clarke by 53.6 seconds. Jordanian driver Shaker Jweihan and Lebanese co-driver Carlos Hanna were third and first in the MERC2 category.



Tomorrow (Saturday), competitors will tackle 109.42 competitive kilometres. The day’s action is made up of two passes through each of the Shuna, Rawda, Turki and Suwayma stages: Shuna is the longest of the entire event at 20.93km.