Racing to the top

January 13 - 19, 2021
Gulf Weekly Racing to the top

Gulf Weekly Naman Arora
By Naman Arora

The third round of the 2000cc local championship, staged alongside Gulf 12 Hours Bahrain last weekend, heated up the standings as the season crossed its half-way mark.

In the Pro category, Raed Raffii was able to get a good start in the first race, taking the lead in the opening lap and winning after 12 laps. Majed Himmo settled for second place 5.741 seconds behind and won the Novice category.

Bahrain’s first woman racer to finish on the 2000cc championship’s podium previously, Martyna Al-Qassab of Team Marte Racing, finished third in the novice category during the first race and second in her league in the second one.

Her husband and team mate Ramzi Al Qassab also competed in the Novice category, finishing fifth and fourth in the two races.

“Overall, the weekend went well for both cars and we managed to grab the extra points needed to position my car in second position in the overall championships, so with three rounds left we can register this weekend as a major step in the right direction,” Martyna Al-Qassab told GulfWeekly.

“We had some good wheel-to-wheel action throughout each race with our competitors. However, despite defending and battling for positions during each lap, it was clean driving by all and there were no incidents this weekend. We managed to have fun and walk away with no car damage which is vital as the next race is only seven days away.”

Raed Himmo won the second race with Raffii 3.204s behind and Ali Al Mansoori took the Novice prize.

Martyna Al Qassab, Andreas Buelow, Ramzi Al-Qassab and Majed Himmo rounded out the second race’s classification.

With her feet planted on second place in the championship, Martyna Al-Qassab is now eyeing the top prize with the fourth round on the horizon and set to take place on Friday.

“I could have made some adjustments which we will be looking into for the next round while Ramzi experienced a number of major technical issues on the suspension and differential which he just drove through. 

“We will be working with our technical support team managed by CoCo Car Care Garage and Abdulrahman Ghuloom, F1 Bahrain’s chief scrutineer, learning from feedback and data to see if we can get the adjustments sorted by the next coming race weekend.”

Al Qassab, who has been in the championship since 2015, entered the new season with her husband, whom she credits as the driving force that introduced her to the world of motorsports, continuously motivating her to pursue the passion.

She is also finalising an initiative to promote women racers in the country and region as more female race drivers are starting to show an interest in competing.

“We are halfway through, with four more rounds left till the end of the championship, so it is the objective to focus on each race weekend with every point matters,” she added.

“I currently stand in second place in the overall championship and first in my class championship so to try to hold on to the position will be a challenge as there are faster cars with more experienced drivers that can change the game, but this makes it all the more exciting with the right strategy being key.”

The BIC 2,000cc Challenge returns for another round of racing on January 15.
l Turn to Page 7 to learn about the Bahraini Gulf 12 Hours-winning team!

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