Motor Sport

Double delights on the track

March 15 - 21, 2017

Gulf Weekly Double delights on the track

Following two days of intense action, six winners emerged from 10 races and five highly-competitive championships at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.

Four of the victors – Ryan Cullen, Josh Files, MishalAlneaimiand Ali Alshammari– each enjoyed fantastic doubles in their respective race series at the National Race Day event. RaedHimmoand Mohammed Faqihiwere the other two drivers to triumph.

All the racing was held along BIC’s 2.55km Inner Track.

Ryan Cullen made it two for two in the fifth and penultimate round of the 2016/2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.

The Irishman stormed to another pole-to-flag win in race two on Saturday following a similar victory in race one 24-hours earlier.

Cullen completed the 20-lap sprint in 22 minutes 19.546 seconds, doing well to fend off the hard challenge of chief rival Tom Oliphant of Great Britain, who was a mere 0.555 seconds behind at the chequeredflag.

Dylan Pereira from Luxembourg was third 4.833s off thewinning pace. All three were also the top finishers in the Goldclass.

In the Silver category, Omani Al Faisal Al Zubairwas the winner. He was joined on their podium by Saudi racer Bandar Alesayiand German Wolfgang Triller.

Philipp Sager from Austria was the winner in the Bronze class. He was followed by Swedes Magnus Ohmanand ChristofferBergstrom.

To add to his win in the Silver category, Al Zubairalso claimed first place in the GCC Rookies division. He was joined by young Bahraini aces His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al Khalifaand Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

FrijnsStructural Steel ME won the Teams category.

The Porsche GT3 Cup now heads into the sixth and final round of the season, to be held next month in support of the 2017 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Josh Files flew to a convincing double to cap the third and final round of the 2017 TCR Middle East Series. He completed the first 24-lap sprint in 28:32.992, driving his Honda CIVIC TCR.

Brandon Gdovicwas classified second 16.941s back, while Luca Engstlercame third 16.169s adrift. Both Gdovicand Engstlerwere behind the wheel of a VW Golf GTI TCR.

Inrace two, Files made it a perfect weekend with a win in 29:26.253. Gdovicfollowed 12.365s behind as the runner-up, while Giacomo Altoe, also in a VW Golf GTI, was third 17.169s from the winner.

RaedHimmoand Mohamed Faqihishared the honoursin round five of the 2016/2017 BIC 2,000cc Challenge. Himmo, driving a Honda CIVIC, won the first race of the weekend following a tough battle with Tim Birkin in a Honda Integra. The pair finished just 1.639 seconds apart in the front. Mansour Al Hajriin a Toyota GT86 claimed the final podium place in third, 2.529s behind the winner.

In race two, Faqihiclaimed his impressive win despite having to start all the way from behind in row five. Driving his own Honda CIVIC, Faqihistormed to first place and won in 16:04.533. He managed to stave off a hard-charging Birkin, who was the runner-up 4.344s behind. Al Hajricame third to gain his second podium of the weekend 20.371s back.

MishalAlneaimishowed why heis the clear favouriteto defend his coveted title after another fantastic double in the fifth round of the Bahrain Superbike Championship. Starting from pole, Alneaimiwon race one in a total time of 12:35.135. Mike ‘Spike’ Edwards was the runner-up 5.213s behind and Ahmed Almuyinithird 8.856s adrift.

Alneaimithen claimed race two in 12:39.143. He finished 4.270s in front of runner-up Almuyini. Mike “Spike” Edwards was classified third 4.924s adrift. The results earned Alneaimihis fourth double of the season, while bringing his win tally to a near-perfect nine out of 10 races.

Ali Alshammarifollowed Alneaimi’slead and claimedhis own fine double in the Bahrain Motorcycle Racing (BMR) 600.Competing in the Super Stock class, Alshammariwon race one in 13:03.099. He was 6.361s ahead of Mohammad AdhanAl ZaidanwhileAli Ahmed Adibytook the final podium step 17.396s behind.

In the Hornet class, PawelRosciszewskiwas first, Mark Buisseretcame second and David Wynne was third. Alshammarisealed his double with a fine win in race two, which he finished in 13:07.493. He led the same trio onto the Super Stock podium, with Al Zaidanthis time finishing 4.848s behind and Adiby20.044s back.

The same trio of Rosciszewski-Buisseret-Wynne made up the Hornet racetwo podium.

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