Shaikh Salman dominates wet 4th round of BIC 2,000cc Challenge
Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa dominated the fourth round of the 2019/2020 BIC 2,000cc Challenge, held as part of a wet National Race Day last weekend at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
Shaikh Salman topped the Practice timesheet, captured pole position in Qualifying, and then steered his Honda Civic to the chequered flag in both of the meeting’ 12-lap races.
It was a brilliant performance under the bright floodlights of BIC, with the field of competitors needing to overcome the tricky slippery conditions around the circuit’s 2.55-kilometre Inner Track.
National Race Day was also scheduled to feature action in the Bahrain Motorcycle Racing 600, but stewards deemed it to be too dangerous for the riders in the championship due to the wet circuit.
In the 2,000cc Challenge, Shaikh Salman wasted no time in making his presence felt after setting the fastest lap in Practice of one minute 25.032 seconds. He maintained his hot pace in Qualifying where he won pole for the round’s first race with a best lap of 1:23.473, beating out rival Mohammed Faqihi, who was also driving a Civic, by just 0.282s.
In the opening sprint, Shaikh Salman won from pole in a total time of 19:34.677. Raed Raffii in a Honda S2000 was the runner-up 1.607s, behind while Faqihi was third 3.841s back.
Taking fourth through sixth place, respectively, on the final classification were Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Honda Civic), Tareq Al Tajer (Ford Focus) and Ahmed Bin Khanen (Honda Civic EG4). Each of the leading finishers were competing in the series’ Pro class.
Hussain Alghanim (Honda Civic) won the Novice class ahead of Ali Albahrani (Honda Civic).
Raffii managed to clock the race’s fastest lap of 1:22.959.
In race two, Shaikh Salman started from fifth position following the reverse grid rule, but that didn’t stop him from powering to the front, although not without a late battle with pole-sitter Al Tajer. Shaikh Salman eventually claimed the chequered flag in 16:42.637.
Al Tajer was a close second just 1.044s adrift, while Shaikh Hamad took the other podium step after finishing 3.645s behind. Raffii, Majed Himmo (Honda Civic) and bin Khanen completed the top six.
Alghanim, Albahrani and lady driver Farah Jaber (BMW E30) were the top three in the Novice class.
Shaikh Salman capped off his stellar round by posting the race’s fastest lap of 1:21.324.
Following all the action, the winners were presented their respective trophies by officials from BIC, the Circuit Racing Club and the Bahrain Motor Federation.
The BIC 2,000cc Challenge returns to the tarmac with the season’s fifth of seven rounds on January 24.
For more information on the BIC 2,000cc Challenge or on National Race Day, visit the circuit’s official website on www.bahraingp.com or call the BIC Hotline on +973-17-450000. Also, follow BIC’s official social media accounts on Facebook (facebook.com/OfficialBahrainInternationalCircuit), Twitter (@BAH_Int_Circuit), Instagram (instagram.com/bah_int_circuit) and YouTube (youtube.com/bahrainbic) for regular updates.