Sharjah: Omani star Khalid Soomar won the second place in the Sharjah Rally, the first round of UAE Rally Championship organised in Sharjah last weekend.
Khalid Soomar completed the rally in 30 minutes and 40 seconds, to finish one minute and 30 seconds behind the eventual winner Mohammed Al Qasimi.
Meanwhile, Oman’s Hameed Al Qasimi and his co-diver Mohamed Al Mazroui clinched the third place in Group N despite some issues with the engine of his car.
The rally comprised of two stages of nine kilometres each and repeated three times each -- first stage in Al Dhaid and the second stage at Police Academy.
In the first stage, Khalid Soomar clocked five minutes and eight seconds, while Hameed Al Qasimi timed five minutes and seven seconds.
At this juncture, Khalid Soomar was working well at this stage trying to catch up with Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Qasimi even as his compatriot Hameed Al Qasimi was trying his best despite the problems with his car’s engine power.
In the second stage at Police Academy, Khalid Soomar tried to close in on Sheikh Mohammed Abdulah Al Qasimi but the latter managed to stay ahead and increase the gap.
It was the same story in the remaining four stages and Khalid Soomar had to settle for second place behind Sheikh Mohammed Abdulah Al Qasimi in overall and Group N category. Hameed Al Qasimi finished third place in Group N.
A number of rally stars from across the Gulf region, including Sheikh Hamed bin Eid Al Thani of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Al Qasimi of the UAE and Salim Al Dhufiri of Kuwait also took part in the event.
After the rally, Khalid Soomar said: “Thanks to my co-driver Issa Al Wardi, we were able to clinch the second place. I am very happy with this result. I would like to thank Sheida company and its owner Nasser Al Balushi for supporting us. Many thanks to our main sponsor Target Company.”
Hameed Al Qasimi, meanwhile, expressed his delight in the third place but urged the companies to support his team in future ‘as it won’t be possible to compete without sponsorship’.