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From www.rallyworld.com

Hamed Al Wahaibi, one of the most successful Arab rally drivers of recent times, has decided to retire from the sport.

The 35-year-old Oman driver had been one of the most prominent competitors in the Group N Production series. He retired mysteriously early from the Rally of Argentina, in which he was driving a Stohl-tuned Group N Lancer.

?After the start of the Rally Argentina I came to a decision that my life in the sport must come to an end,? Al Wahaibi disclosed in a statement. ?As many of you know, my priorities in life lie elsewhere, to my growing family, my country and my faith. Necessary absences from home are not in the interests of family and business responsibilities back home. For some time this challenge to my priorities has been causing a lot of worry.

?The last eight years of my life, when I have been active in rallying, have been perhaps some of the most enjoyable and exciting of all. In that time there have been so many achievements of which I, together with all the people with whom I have been working, can be proud. On a more personal level it has been such a pleasure to make so many good friends around the world. But all of this personal satisfaction has been hard for my family and colleagues back home, to all of whom I am grateful for indulgence.

?I can tell you that the loss of our friend ?Possum? Bourne has had a significant, if not a primary, bearing on my decision. I could not help witnessing the very visible effect his loss had on everybody who were touched by his life. It finally told me that the sport, however much the authorities take care, still carries the sort of risks which are hard to pass on to those you love and to whom you are responsible.?
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