Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) hosted an action-packed National Racing Day on Friday in Sakhir.
Taking to the floodlit desert track were the BIC 2,000cc Challenge, the Bahrain Superbike Championship (BSBK) and the Bahrain Motorcycle Racing (BMR) 600.
Four winners emerged from the event. Brothers Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa shared the honours in the two 2,000cc races; while Mishal Alneaimi and Chris Rabie secured a double apiece in the BSBK and BMR 600, respectively.
National Racing Day was organised by BIC, “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”, in cooperation with the Bahrain Motor Federation.
The BIC 2,000cc Challenge was holding the seventh and penultimate round of its 2015/2016 season.
Following a slow start that saw him qualify sixth on the grid, Shaikh Salman, driving a Honda CIVIC, managed to clinch the weekend’s opening 12-lap sprint.
Shaikh Salman took the chequered flag in a total race time of 16 minutes 16.023 seconds. He managed to overcome some late car trouble en route to claiming his victory around BIC’s 2.55-kilometre Inner Track.
Mohammed Faqihi, also driving a CIVIC, was a close runner-up finishing just 0.760 seconds behind Shaikh Salman, while Alex Longden in a BMW 3Series/F20C rounded out the podium placers 6.807s back.
“It started off as a good race; I lost my brakes in the end but still managed to finish in first place,” said Shaikh Salman, who extended his lead atop the BIC 2,000cc championship standings.
In race two, it was Shaikh Hamad’s turn to triumph. He too was driving a CIVIC, and he had won with a time of 16:17.295.
Longden finished second for the second time in the day 11.956s behind the winner, while Mohammed Faqihi was a distant third 28.933s. Shaikh Salman managed to claim fourth place 34.678s adrift.
“Finally, back on the podium after not really participating in too many races this season,” said Shaikh Hamad, who was forced not to finish race one with a car problem.
“Race two went well, though. It was fun battling from the back of the grid and catching up with the pack.”