Top drivers from Oman and UAE will vie for the top honours as the Rotax Max Challenge (RMC) season begins at the Oman Automobile Association’s (OAA) Muscat Speedway on Friday.

Besides the sibling duo of Sanad and Abdullah al Rawahi, promising Omani drivers like Faisal al Zubair, Shihab al Habsi and Mohammed al Habsi will be in action at the event.

Sean Babington, Piers Pakenham-Walsh and Emanuele Pagani are expected to lead the charge for UAE.

Apart from the six rounds of the RMC, the speedway will host two rounds of the UAE national championships for the first time.

Event co-ordinator Mommin al Rawahi said, “We are proud to conduct two rounds of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge at our facility. It shows Muscat Speedway’s growing stature as a top karting destination in the region. Motor sports fans can expect a lot as talented drivers fight for supremacy.”

The season begins on Friday, followed by the second round on Saturday. The second week’s action, to be held on January 16-17, is expected to be more exciting as the third and fourth rounds of the Oman RMC will be held along with the seventh and eighth rounds of the UAE RMC.

The final rounds, fifth and sixth, will be held on February 20 and 21.

Karts and drivers have already begun to arrive at the Speedway, while the OAA officials are busy sprucing up the track and the facilities. As many as 40 drivers, including ten from UAE, have registered for the first two rounds, while the second week’s event is expected to attract more than 100 drivers from UAE.

A total of 30 drivers from Oman are likely to participate in the second week.

The decision to hold two national championships at the same venue provides upcoming drivers a good opportunity to test their skills while rubbing shoulders with some of the best drivers from the region.

Veteran Oman rally driver Hamed al Wahaibi will be seen in action during the Oman-UAE event. Competitions will be held in five categories – DD2, Senior Max, Micro Max, Mini Max and Bambinos (age group of five and six years).

The events will begin at 9am during weekends and will conclude by 4pm.