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The Bahrain International Circuit was buzzing with excitement over the weekend as racers from across the Gulf competed in two championships.
The speed spectacular started with the fourth round of the region’s longest-running circuit racing championship, the BIC 2,000cc Challenge, which was dominated by drivers Raed Raffii and Raed Himmo.
In race one, Raffii (Honda S2000) took first with a total time of 15 minutes 47.098 seconds.
Ali Al Mansoori (Honda Civic) finished behind him with a 2.419-second gap while Majed Himmo was third 4.197s back.
Tareq Al Tajer (Ford Focus) took fourth and Raed Himmo (Honda Civic) settled for fifth on the final classification. Andreas Buelow (Honda Civic), Martyna Al Qassab (Acura DC5), Giovanni Salerno (Ford Focus), Ramzi Al Qassab (Acura DC5) and Andrew Ray (Honda Integra) rounded out the race results.
Raffii was also the winner in the Pro class, while Al Mansoori was the top finisher amongst all Novice runners. Raffii had the race’s best lap of 1:18.117.
In race two, Raed Himmo took first in 15:43.855, finishing 1.150s ahead of Al Tajer.
Raffii took third, 5.435s from Raed Himmo’s winning pace.
Al Mansoori classified fourth overall, Majed Himmo was fifth and Buelow sixth, while seventh through 10th, respectively, were Martyna Al Qassab, Salerno, Ray and Ramzi Al Qassab.
Raed Himmo and Al Mansoori were the class winners, while Al Tajer clocked the race two fastest lap of 1:17.847.
Raffii has extended his lead on the championship standings with 174 points. Al Tajer follows in second with 112 points and Martyna Al Qassab third in third with 108.
The BIC 2,000cc Challenge, run by BIC, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Circuit Racing Club, will return for round five on February 5, and the sixth and penultimate meeting will be held on March 5. The championship-finale is slated for April 2.
After the BIC 2000cc, the spotlight turned to the quarter-mile strip with the opening of the 2021 Bahrain Drag Racing Championship.
More than 90 entrants went head-to-head in 10 different competition categories for both cars and motorbikes.
Bahrain 1 Racing’s Emirati driver Khalid Al Balooshi stole the show by taking the win in the Pro Mod class. It was the team’s maiden competitive appearance of 2021 and first since they were crowned Pro Mod Series world champions in the US-based National Hot Rod Association, the world’s most prestigious drag racing series.
Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, BIC’s chief executive, congratulated His Majesty the King’s Personal Representative, His Highness Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and his drag racing team Bahrain 1 Racing, for their victory.
He added: “The Bahrain Drag Racing Championship is the premier drag racing series in the region with a top-class roster of participants every round, and Bahrain 1 Racing continue to show that they are amongst the very best in the world.
“We wish them and all those taking part this season the utmost success in another exciting and memorable campaign.”
Al Balooshi clocked an elapsed time of 3.762 seconds in the Pro Mod final with a top speed of 321.58kph. He defeated Hani Ali who registered a time of 5.176s.
Ali made up for his runner-up finish with a win in the Index 8.5 category. There, he beat Majid Khalil Ebrahim in the last elimination battle.
Five other Bahraini competitors joined Ali as winners in their respective classes. Zakrya Al Kuwari triumphed in the Outlaw 4 category with a run of 9.112s at 224.48kph in his final, beating Mahmood Mohammed who had an elapsed time of 11.013s. Nawaf Al Mannai followed suit in the Outlaw 6 class, where he marked 4.683s at 259.05kph as the lone runner in the final elimination.
Hussain Mohammed clocked 4.461s at 276.67kph in the final of the Super Street V8 category, while Ali Yousif Jaffar emerged the winner in the Index 10.5 field after clocking 10.531s at 198.57kph to beat Ali Khamiri who had a 10.802s time in their decisive elimination run.
The list of Bahraini winners in round one was completed by Mohammed Al Taitoon in the Street Fight Bikes class. He ran 9.499s at 243.51kph in the final to beat Fadi Abu Jamus’s 9.446s.
Two other drivers from UAE and one from Saudi Arabia took the top podium step of their categories. Obaid Al Balooshi and Mohammed Rasheed were the Emiratis. Obaid Al Balooshi triumphed in the Competition 4.5 class with a 4.556s time at 244.32kph, beating Abdulrahman Bu Alwa’s 4.575s.e Rasheed won the Index 9.0 class with marks of 9.260s and 239.75kph, overcoming the 9.123s time of Yousif Al Zayani.
Saudi’s Khalid Al Dosary took first place in the Index 8.5 Bike riders with a time of 8.737s at 237.19kph in his final elimination to defeat Mohammed Hasan, who had a run of 9.009s.
The 2021 Bahrain Drag Racing Championship returns next month with the second of the season’s five rounds scheduled for February 9 to 12. Round three will then take place from February 23 to 27, followed by the penultimate meeting from March 9 to 12. That sets the stage for the season-finale from April 13 to 16.
For more information, visit bahraingp.com.