Y Magazine

Oman 47th National Day: A special gift by teen racers

Racers Al Faisal Al Zubair and Khalid Al Wahaibi flutter the national flag high at the GT3 Cup Challenge in Bahrain, reports Hasan al Lawati.

It was the Sultanate’s 47th National Day when two Omani teen racers made their country proud at the prestigious Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East on the Sakhir Formula One circuit in Bahrain on Saturday.

Al Faisal Al Zubair made two podium finishes in both the races, held on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday, the 19-year-old Omani racer shadowed Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani and England’s Tom Oliphant to the chequered flag where he was passed on lap eight by Oliphant, who also overtook Ashkanani on the penultimate lap to snatch victory.

Al Faisal finished third twice, on Friday and Saturday, which put him on second position behind Oliphant in the championship standings, as Ashkanani was registered as a guest driver.

After the second race, he posted on his Instagram: “Double overall podiums at the opening rounds of the Championship! Good way to start the campaign and collect some good points. Gave it a good shot for victory in Race 2 with an amazing battle against @zaidashkanani! Coming back to Round 2 even stronger!”

The other Omani racer, Khalid Al Wahaibi, made his debut in style.

At only 17, making him the youngest racer in this year’s competition, Al Wahaibi claimed the top spot in the Bronze category in both the races.

“I do not think of it (his age) as a disadvantage but rather an advantage because I have more time to learn,” he said.

Khalid finished overall ninth and tenth respectively in the first and the second race of the opening round that comprised a grid of 17 drivers.

“It was like a learning experience. It was definitely a good race for me especially that it was my first and finishing in the top ten is a great achievement,” he told Y magazine.

Khalid was proud to represent his country on its National Day.

“As a racer It is great to raise the flag (Oman’s flag) internationally and regionally as well. I am proud to be Omani and proud to show this patriotic self in my races,” he said.