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ONC Hamed Al-Wahaibi announces two-car team for 2012 rally season

OMAN NATIONAL RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Muscat Rally, first round – February 9-10, 2012

For immediate release
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

HAMED AL-WAHAIBI ANNOUNCES PARTICIPATION
IN 2012 OMAN NATIONAL RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

· Two-car team set for Oman National Rally series
· Young Omani Al-Kiyumi teams up with Allan Harryman

MUSCAT (OMAN): Hamed Al-Wahaibi announced today that Wahaibi Motor Sport (WMS) will take part in the 2012 Oman National Rally Championship with a two-car team of WMS-prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Xs.

The series consists of six rallies and begins with this weekend’s Muscat Rally. The WMS team will also take part in December’s Dubai International Rally, the final round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship.

Al-Wahaibi has the intention of supporting young talent from the Sultanate of Oman and confirmed that 22-year-old Omani Arif Al-Kiyumi will be his team-mate for the new season.

Arif has been a competitor in motor sport since a young age and began with kart racing in 2003. He was junior champion that season and carried on his karting career until 2007, when he stopped to focus on a university education. Arif started his rally career last year and competed with a Mitsubishi Evolution VII, achieving several useful results whilst learning the complex sport of rallying.

He will be co-driven by Ulster co-driver Allan Harryman. Allan brings a wealth of international rally and young driver development experience with him, having worked with the Abu Dhabi driver development program previously. He is the son of legendary co-driver Terry Harryman and has competed in the British, European and World Rally Championships.

“The professionalism and depth of rally knowledge Allan has will complement the development of Arif’s rallying skills over the events of the 2012 Oman National Rally Championship and onwards towards a international rally career in the future,” enthused Al-Wahaibi.

As a result of Allan’s pairing with Al Kiyumi, Hamed Al Wahaibi’s new co-driver will be the 26-year-old Omani Zakarya Al-Aufi, who was the 2011 Oman National Championship-winning co-driver. Zakarya has been involved in motor sport since 2004, where he began as a kart racer, before moving to rallying. He was the co-driver for Khaled Somar and together the pair won the championship in 2008 and 2011.

The WMS team was founded last November by Hamed Al Wahaibi, the first Omani sport’s personality to be selected as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Children’s Organization (UNICEF).

WMS began its programme with three preparation events at the end of 2011 with Hamed winning the final two rounds of the Oman National Championship and finishing fourth and scoring first place in the Group N category at the Dubai International Rally.

WMS recently organised a training day for Omani co-drivers with Hamed Al-Wahaibi and Allan Harryman giving in-depth rally coaching to help local competitors improve their rally skills.

WMS also co-hosted a separate rally workshop in partnership with the Committee of Omani Competitors, which was held with three well known experts from international rallying – former competitor and Subaru WRC team manager John Spiller, rally preparation expert Ivan Ingrilli and Dmitry Krivtsov, the deputy clerk of the course of Rally Japan.

The workshop was organised with the aim of encouraging Omani youth to gain more knowledge in all aspects of rally craft through contact with the three international experts.

“The workshops were very successful, benefiting everyone who attended and I would like to thank John Spiller, Ivan Ingrilli and Dmitry Krivtsov for their support and the vast amount of knowledge they shared with the Omani youth who were present,” added Al-Wahaibi.

“I would also like to thank Omantel for their support and for allowing us to use their conference facility to host the event which helped make it a success.”

WMS also announced its intention to launch a Road Safety programme in the future for all Omani road users and this is reflected in the new ‘safety first’ livery which the team’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X cars will carry for this weekend’s Muscat Rally.

Ends

For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com,
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

 

Date issued: 08/02/2012

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