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Tantash captures Jordan National Rally Championship title

By Roufan Nahhas - Nov 10,2012 - Last updated at Nov 10,2012

AMMAN — Mazen Tantash on Friday was crowned champion of the fifth and final round of the National Rally after beating six other drivers in one of the most challenging season finales.

Tantash also captured the Jordan National Rally Championship title after clocking 45m18s, followed by Husam Salem (48m40s) and Salameh Qamaz (59m12s).

Ala Rasheed and Zaid Dahshan did not take part although they registered to be part of the final round.

Only three out of seven cars reached the finish line after the rally witnessed several retirements.

Faisal Haqi, Firas Tell, Ala Hmoud and Ala Khalifeh retired with mechanical problems.

“It was clearly one of the most competitive rounds in the series. I pushed hard in the second round and managed to take the lead which was hard especially after Khalifeh managed to push even harder and take the lead in the third round,” Tantash said after the rally.

The fourth round saw Tantash taking the lead and pushing Khalifeh to second place, who returned to first spot in the fifth round but retired after an accident leaving Tantash and two other cars in the rally.

“It was amazing! The level of competition was very high. We all were trying to take the lead but everything went fine for me and I am excited to finish the season with this result,” Tantash added.

Meanwhile, Salem who teamed up with co-driver Nancy Majali expressed his satisfaction with the result especially that he is just venturing in the world of rallying.

“It was one of those moments in rallying where everyone can see himself reaching the top spot at the podium. For me, I am happy to finish the rally in second place as I consider this a training session for next year’s championship,” Salem, the speed test champion, said.

Drivers covered 148.52km of gravel roads in which 52.62km were special stages.

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