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Wahaibi to take part in Oregon Trail Rally

31 Oct 2021 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Oman’s experienced rally driver to team up with Tony Sircombe for the three-day event in Portland, US

Muscat – Experienced Omani rally driver Hamed al Wahaibi will team up with his long-time co-driver, Tony Sircombe of New Zealand, as they continue their comeback journey into competitive rallying with participation in the 2021 Oregon Trail Rally in Portland, US.

The Oregon Trail is a three-day rally event in the American Rally Association (ARA) National Championship, which encompasses eight events across the US.

Wahaibi, who made his return to international rallying competition in September by competing in the 2021 Cyprus Rally, one of the rounds in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, will participate in Oregon Trail, which will be held from November 5-7.

The Oregon Trail Rally is known to challenge teams with its diverse stages of high speeds, technical turns, and varying road surfaces. The racing starts on Friday at Portland International Raceway (PIR) which combines the asphalt of the racing circuit with gravel service roads in and around the track. With cars starting at short intervals, the continuous race action makes PIR a fan favourite.

After the PIR stages, the event moves east along the scenic Columbia Gorge where teams will experience the much faster closed county and private roads on Saturday and Sunday in and around the towns of Goldendale, Washington and Dufur, Oregon.

Wahaibi arrived in Oregon last weekend with Sircombe to prepare for the event. He is scheduled to carry out two days of testing on Monday and Tuesday and then take part in reconnaissance of the special stages on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wahaibi has entered in the National RC2 category in a Ford Fiesta R5 being run on the event by the experienced McKenna Motorsport.

“I am quite excited to do this event,” said Wahaibi. “I have a soft spot for the US from a scenery point of view and I am looking forward to this rally on the west coast. I guess it’s going to be rainy and muddy and quite a challenge.

“I am looking forward to that. It’s quite a long time since I drove in wet conditions. “It’s a exciting time and a new car for me to try.“

Sircombe said, “It will be great to be back rallying in the US and particularly the Oregon Trail Rally. I spent many years doing the US Rally Championship but only ever competed in the Oregon Trail Rally once – in 1984.”

The Oregon Trail will be quite a contrast to Wahaibi’s last event in Cyprus, which was hot, rocky and super twisty. The 25th Oregon Trail Rally is the last event in the 2021 ARA schedule.

Wahaibi will line up alongside many of America’s leading rally drivers, including WRC legend and stunt driver Ken Block, legend Travis Pastrana and drivers such as Dave Wallingford, Brandon Semenuk and John Coyne in a provisional 74-car field.

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