BIC Feb 4th 2011: Bahrain International Circuit, ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’, staged yet another exciting round in the Bahrain International Circuit 2000cc Challenge on Friday, as Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa stole the show with a fantastic double yet again to take the solo lead in the championship.
The event was organised and officiated by the Circuit Racing Club, in cooperation with the Bahrain Motor Federation. It was held under the auspices of Bahrain International Circuit.
Driving a Honda Civic, Shaikh Hamad was in a class of his own throughout the meeting. He opened the day setting the pace in free practice, before storming to pole position during the qualifying session. He then secured his two victories in style, to come away with an unprecedented third double for the 2010/2011 season so far.
Shaikh Hamad did not compete in the championship’s first round, but since beginning his campaign, he has remained perfect so far among the entire field of competitors in class A. He headed into Friday’s action tied on the points standings with top rival Tim Birkin.
The Class B honours for the round were shared by Rashid Al Jowder and Raed Himmo.
Shaikh Hamad’s two wins on Friday gave him six straight finishes atop the final classification, and it maintained his dominant form in the high-octane series.
In Race One, Shaikh Hamad finished ahead of Birkin, who was driving a Honda Integra, while Stephen Kellogg, also competing in a Honda Civic, came in third place.
Class B was won by Rashid Al Jowder in a Honda Civic, while Hisham Al Othman was the runner-up driving a Honda CRX.
Shaikh Hamad controlled the 15-lap race from the start. He eventually stormed to his pole-to-flag triumph in 20mins 19.659secs. Shaikh Hamad had built a comfortable lead over Birkin, who ended the event in 20mins 37.469secs. Kellogg had a finishing mark of 20mins 43.127secs. Hussain Karimi in a Honda CRX finished in fourth, Ahmed Kuzbar in a Ford Focus was fifth.
Al Jowder won Class B in 20mins 22.209secs, while Al Othman ended the race in 21mins 15.797secs.
Shaikh Hamad also claimed the fastest lap of the sprint of 1min 19.968secs.
In Race Two, Shaikh Hamad was again triumphant despite having to start from last place due to the reverse-grid rule.
Shaikh Hamad won in 22mins 11.000secs, followed by Birkin once again who this time was marginally closer in 22.16.389secs. Karimi claimed the final podium spot in Class A, taking third place in 22mins 28.234secs. Kellogg came fourth and Hamad Kuzbar in a Ford Focus was fifth.
Class B was this time taken by Raed Himmo, driving a Honda CRX, who was unable to finish the first race. Himmo took first place in 22mins 23.128secs, finishing ahead of Al Jowder who had a mark of 22mins 31.019secs. Al Othman did not complete the event.
Following Friday’s events, the season heads towards a climactic end. The title is still up for grabs and there are just two rounds of racing to go.
The fifth and penultimate meeting of the year will take place on April 1. The season finale will then be held on April 22, when the new champions of both Classes A and B are crowned.
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