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Amman, September 2022: The third and final round of the national qualifiers of the Toyota GAZOO Racing MENA Esports Cup – which is officially sponsored by Toyota Motor Corporation, represented by Toyota GAZOO Racing, to keep pace with the evolving global esports and virtual car racing landscape – has concluded. Incredibly talented simulator drivers from Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Mauritania vied amidst an electrifying atmosphere and fierce competition to claim their seats in the finals scheduled to take place in the Jordanian capital, Amman, between 6 and 8 October.
Following the remarkable success of the first edition of the Toyota GAZOO Racing MENA Esports Cup last year, the championship returned with an even wider range of participants and a more advanced structure comprising national qualifier rounds that presented everyone with a fair chance to showcase their talents, win and represent their countries during the upcoming finals.
Drivers from each country underwent a 10-minute practice session on the track to help familiarize them with the course. After that, they were given a seven-minute qualifying session that determined the start line order of the Sprint Race, consisting of seven laps around the renowned Japanese Autopolis International Racing Course, which decided the starting grid of the Feature Race. Tough competition in Oman resulted in Wassif Al Kharusi winning first place, Mohamed Al Barwani coming in second and Lahmeed Al Balushi crossing the finish line to secure third place and become first reserve. In Qatar, Faesal Al Yafei won first place, followed by Khalid Al Maraghi in second place and Soud Al Thani in third place as first reserve.
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, Wesam Khalil earned the top spot, with Abdulaziz Rayes and Hatem Al Hamley clinching second and third positions, respectively. In Bahrain, Ebrahim Almubarak qualified as first, Hassan Ebrahim as second and Sadeq Marhoon as third, the latter becoming first reserve, whereas in Mauritania, Mohamed El Hanefi grabbed first place and Ahmed Chash came in second place. Additionally, last year’s qualifying contestants from Palestine, Martin Handal and Issa Handal, will be representing their country again at the 2022 Toyota GAZOO Racing MENA Esports Cup finals.
2022 Toyota GAZOO Racing MENA Esports Cup finalists:
Jordan: Ghaith Abu Taa – Izz Bustami (third place: Moath Shishani)
Egypt: Hazem Zaki – Mohamed Wasel (third place: Mohamed Raafat)
Lebanon: Karl Etyemezian – Wassim Abou Khalil
Cyprus: Yiannis Hadhicharalambous – Panagiotis Petsas (third place: Demosthenis Michael)
Kuwait: Khaled Dashti – Mahdi Bulayyan (third place: Abdullrahman Al Thefiri)
UAE: Salem Al Mesmari – Sultan Khalifa(third place: Hamad Al Marzooqi)
Morocco: Reda Hsaine – Yassine Ounassi
Oman: Wassif Al Kharusi – Mohamed Al Barwani (third place: Lahmeed Al Balushi)
Qatar: Faesal Al Yafei – Khalid Al Maraghi (third place: Soud Al Thani)
Saudi Arabia: Wesam Khalil – Abdulaziz Rayes (third place: Hatem Al Hamley)
Bahrain: Ebrahim Almubarak – Hassan Ebrahim (third place: Sadeq Marhoon)
Mauritania: Mohamed El Hanefi – Ahmed Chash
Palestine: Martin Handal – Issa Handal