Bahrain: Thrilling first day at Bahrain Speed weekend

Race start of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Bahrain Dec 2nd 2010

Bahrain Dec 2nd: Bahrain International Circuit, ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’, put on a racing spectacle on Thursday (December 2, 2010) on the opening day of Speed Weekend Bahrain in Sakhir.

Some of the region’s best drivers showcased their talents in each of the four professionally run regional championships, which made up the event’s thrilling programme.

Shining brightest on Thursday were Faisal Raffii in the WGA Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship, Shaikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the Bahrain International Circuit 2000cc Challenge, and Saud bin Turki in the Middle East Radical Masters.

Speed Weekend continues on Friday (December 3, 2010) with more action in all series.

Faisal Raffii, driving for Alba Racing Team, made a fantastic debut in the SC09

RAFFII GRABS CHEVROLET SUPERCARS POLE FOR ALBA

Faisal Raffii, driving for Alba Racing Team, made a fantastic debut in the SC09 category of the WGA Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship, winning pole position for race one in the season’s first race on Friday.

After moving up to the SC09 class as the SC06 reigning champion, Raffii proved he belongs after beating a field of more experienced rivals with the fastest lap time of 1min 15.381secs in qualifying.

His Alba teammate Mustafa Al Khan was not as lucky in his first time out. He was sixth in qualifying with a best lap of 1min 16.700secs.

Taking the other front row spot was Raed Raffii, driving for Batelco Racing Team. Raed had a lap of 1min 15.641secs. Third was Tarek Elgammal of Lap 57 Team. He had a fastest lap of 1:15.381.

BIN TURKI TAKES POLE IN RADICAL MASTERS

Saud bin Turki grabbed pole position after qualifying in the Middle East Radical Masters series.

Bin Turki had a best lap of 1min 04.612secs. He was closely followed by Saed Al Muri who had a best time of 1min 04.940secs, as Bandar Alireza was third with a fastest lap of 1min 05.925secs.

Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa outclassed the field in the Bahrain International Circuit 2000cc Challenge practices

SHAIKH HAMAD SETS THE PACE IN BIC 2000CC PRACTICE

Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa outclassed the field in the Bahrain International Circuit 2000cc Challenge practices.

Driving a Honda Civic in Class ‘A’, Shaikh Hamad set the pace with a best lap time of 1min 19.214secs. He was more than two seconds faster than his closest rival, Tim Birkin driving a Honda Integra. Birkin had a time of 1min 21.517secs.

Raed Himmo in a Honda CRX was third on the timesheet in 1min 21.669secs. He was also the fastest among all participants in Class ‘B’.

PLENTY OF FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT OFF THE TRACK

Apart from all the racing action, hundreds of spectators enjoyed the joyous atmosphere in the public area next to the paddock, where there was a wide array of activities for the whole family.

Game stalls, carnival rides, food stations and live music were only a few of the things on hand to entertain the crowd made up of race fans and families who were looking to take advantage of the public holiday for all Bahrain schools.

Much of the same off-the-track activities and more will be on hand today on the concluding day of Speed Weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the gate, while all youngsters aged 15 years old and below can get in absolutely free. For more information, visit Bahrain International Circuit’s website, www.bahraingp.com, or call the circuit’s hotline on +973-17-450000.

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