WRC

Al Wahaibi - top Middle East region rally driver

World Rally Championship Al Wahaibi completes an Arab-record 30th entries in the WRC In a short span of five years, the Omani ace Hamed Al Wahaibi emerged as one of the most spectacular rally drivers of the Middle East region conquering the...

World Rally Championship
Al Wahaibi completes an Arab-record 30th entries in the WRC

In a short span of five years, the Omani ace Hamed Al Wahaibi emerged as one of the most spectacular rally drivers of the Middle East region conquering the World Rally arena and achieving remarkable results in a record time.

Al Wahaibi set a new Arab record as his recent successful show in the Finland Rally, the ninth round of the World Rally Championship, marked his 30th world entries, a record yet to be claimed by any other Arab driver.

With 30th world rallies to his credit, Al Wahaibi simply adds a fresh accomplishment to his long list of honors. The Omani sensation is considered to be the first Arab driver to lead the group N World Rally Championship in 1999. Al Wahaibi eventually finished the season in the second place, the highest finish ever by an Arab driver. The well-known UK-based publication Motor sport News (formerly Motoring News) rated Hamed Al Wahaibi as one of the top ten drivers in the world (1999).

After his remarkable achievements in group N, Al Wahaibi moved in the middle of last year to the more powerful group "A" competitions to further demonstrate that a natural talent can make up for the lack of experience in such a demanding and tough sport. Al Wahaibi, though, went on to claim many victories. Earlier this year, Hamed showcased amazing driving skills when the Omani sensation grabbed a spectacular victory in the Rallye Terre D' Auvergene, the second round of the 2001 French Gravel Rally Championship to declare himself as the first Arab and may be non-European rallist to have won the French event.

Now with the combination of both talent and experience, Al Wahaibi, who is partnered with co-driver Tony Circombe, looks set to make it to the top of rallying but he believes that there is still along way to go.

Amid an intense competition of the hectic World Championship, one single fact has emerged, Hamed Al Wahaibi is becoming a fully-fledged world-class driver.

But now after the FIA cancell the FIA TEAMS Cup, only time will tell if Hamed will contiue to rally in the WRC or move back to the Middle-East Rally Championship with his WRC Subaru Impreza. In my opinion it should be very interesting to watch Hamed against Muhamed Bin-Sulayem in the WRC.

- duby miller

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