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Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa topped the practice timesheet in the 2019/2020 2,000cc Challenge, captured pole position in qualifying and then steered his Honda Civic to the chequered flag in both of the meeting’ 12-lap races.
He dominated the fourth round which was held as part of a wet National Race Day last weekend at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
It was a thrilling race to behold, especially with the tricky slippery conditions around the circuit’s 2.55km Inner Track.
Shaikh Salman wasted no time in making his presence felt after setting the fastest lap in practice of one minute 25.032 seconds. He maintained his hot pace in qualifying where he won pole for the round’s first race with a best lap of 1:23.473, beating out rival Mohammed Faqihi, who was also driving a Civic, by just 0.282s.
In the opening sprint, Shaikh Salman won from pole in a total time of 19:34.677. Raed Raffii in a Honda S2000 was the runner-up 1.607s, behind while Faqihi was third 3.841s back.
Taking fourth through sixth place, respectively, on the final classification were Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa in his Honda Civic, Tareq Al Tajer in a Ford Focus and Ahmed Bin Khanen in his Honda Civic EG4. Each of the leading finishers were competing in the series’ Pro class.
Hussain Alghanim and his Honda Civic won the Novice class ahead of Ali Albahrani in his Honda Civic. Raffii managed to clock the race’s fastest lap of 1:22.959.
In race two, Shaikh Salman started from fifth position following the reverse grid rule but he powered through to the front. After battling it out with pole-sitter Al Tajer, Shaikh Salman then claimed the chequered flag in 16:42.637.
Al Tajer was a close second with 1.044s adrift, while Shaikh Hamad took the other podium step after finishing 3.645s behind. Raffii, Majed Himmo in his Honda Civic and bin Khanen completed the top six.
Alghanim, Albahrani and lady driver Farah Jaber in her BMW E30 were the top three in the Novice class.
Shaikh Salman capped off his round by posting the race’s fastest lap of 1:21.324.
Following all the action, the winners were presented their trophies by officials from BIC, the Circuit Racing Club and the Bahrain Motor Federation.
The BIC 2,000cc Challenge returns to the tarmac with the season’s fifth of seven rounds on January 24.
National Race Day was also scheduled to feature action in the Bahrain Motorcycle Racing 600, but stewards deemed it to be too dangerous for riders in the championship due to the wet circuit.
For more information on the 2,000cc Challenge or on National Race Day, visit www.bahraingp.com or call BIC’s Hotline on 17450000.
Also, follow BIC’s official social media accounts on Facebook at OfficialBahrain-InternationalCircuit), on Twitter @BAH_Int_Circuit, on Instagram @bah_int_circuit and on YouTube at bahrainbic for regular updates.