Rawahi claims maiden victory in Jordan National Rally
Oman's Abdullah al Rawahi claimed his first major win of his fledgling rallying career when he took the top honours in the fourth round of the Jordan National Rally that concluded in the in the northern forests near Amman on Friday.
Teaming up with his navigator Ata al Hmoud of Jordan, Rawahi now holds a slender one-point overall lead at the top from Khaled Juma ahead of the final round next month.
Rawahi had actually finished third overall in the fourth round. However, the stewards later disqualified leader Khaled Juma and second-placed Salameh al Gammaz on technical grounds and declared Rawahi the winner.
Tarek Taher finished second behind Rawahi while Ziad Miqdad finished third.
Driving his Subaru Impreza Sti N14 car, Rawahi suffered a puncture in the opening special stage to trail by a huge three-minute margin but he came back strongly to finish second in the next special stage (SS2) despite issues with the car turbo.
After the service break, he was at his best as he took a commanding win with a difference of 50 seconds in SS3 and in the final special stage Rawahi again won the stage with a minute gap to finish overall third.
Showing good speed and skills, Rawahi has been aiming to gain maximum experience during the Jordan National Rally rounds this season to prepare himself for bigger challenges ahead.
In his exclusive remarks to Muscat Daily from Amman after his maiden overall win, Rawahi said, “It was a really good rally for us. At the start, we faced technical problems like turbo issues and even had a puncture in the first stage. We did lose lot of time and we had to regain a lot in the remaining stages after fixing the problem during the 30-minute service break.
“In the repeat of the two stages, we regained our position and led both stages to finish third overall before being handed the title after the drivers ahead of me were penalised for illegal service. We are now leading overall and we look forward to winning the title next month.”
The 22 year old said that the 'most important thing is to learn maximum and gain experience'.
With six drivers in line for the overall title, the Jordan National Rally championship is heading towards an exciting finale next month. The fifth and final stop in the series on October 11 will be a power rally with 50 per cent more points up for grabs.
Prior to final round in Jordan, Rawahi will take part in Lebanon rally next week.