Plenty of thrills in karting sprints
Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC) hosted a thrilling third round of the 2019/2020 Bahrain Karting Sprint Championship (BKSC) on Saturday in Sakhir. There was plenty of action and drama throughout the meeting as the Kingdom of Bahrain’s best karters put on a show in both the Bahrain Rotax Mojo Max Challenge and the Bahrain Sprint Sodi World Series (BSSWS), both of which are under the BKSC umbrella.
Racing was once again held along BIKC’s 1.414-kilometre Commission Internationale de Karting track. Some of the championship’s top names were celebrating on the top of the podium, including Luca Kane Houghton, Gracie Rose Grantham, Lewis Smith, Rashed Almuammari and Osama Azzouka in the BRMMC and Ali Baslar in the BSSWS. Luca Kane won the BRMMC’s Mini Max class.
He started from pole and completed the nine-lap final in nine minutes 03.572 seconds. Shanthosh Kumar was the runner-up 0.253 seconds behind while Ahmed Alsesey was third 7.341s back. Gracie Rose triumphed in the Micro Max following a tough battle with Khalid Alnajjar over nine laps. Alnajjar grabbed the lead in the final’s penultimate lap from Gracie Rose and finished in first place, but a 10-second penalty for a jump start dropped him to fifth position.
Gracie Rose inherited the win with a time of 9:36.683. Louis El Nabulsi was second 5.443s behind while Rashid Al Khalifa came third 6.024s off the winning pace. In the Junior class, Smith triumphed in the 15-lap finale. Fahad Al Muqla finished the race in first place from pole but a 10-second penalty for starting from an incorrect position dropped him to fourth. Smith, who started from third but gained second position on lap one, was awarded the victory with a time of 14:00.032, just 0.150s ahead of Abdullah Aldossery. Sulaiman Alkanderi was third 5.845s behind.
In the Senior Max final, Almuammari won from pole in 13:52.129 over 15 laps. Fahad Al Khaled came second just 0.310s back, while Mohammed Mattar, who received a 10-second penalty in the pre-final putting him sixth on the grid for the final, took the final podium place 0.677s back. In the Senior Max Masters, Azzouka triumphed ahead of Fred Clark. Azzouka had a winning time of 14:10.073 in the 15- lap final, but only 0.683s separated him from Clark.
Meanwhile, Baslar continued his dominance of the BSSWS season so far after claiming his third win in as many rounds despite starting the final all the way back from sixth position. Baslar dropped to eighth on lap one but slowly regained position over the next three laps to fifth. Baslar then sprung to the lead on lap eight and held on to his position until the very end. Abdulla Buhindi also had a stunning drive, finishing in second place after starting from ninth.
Abubaker Ali was the pole-sitter but he fell back all the way to sixth before recovering on the very last lap to salvage third place and secure the final podium step. Baslar won the 15-lap final in a total time of 18:23.192, just 0.674s ahead of Buhindi. Ali finished 2.534s back. Following the action in each series, the winners were awarded their respective trophies in separate podium ceremonies. Presenting the awards were officials from BIKC and Bahrain International Circuit.
Saturday’s third round was the last of the calendar year for the BKSC. Round Four will kick off 2020 on January 11, and then Round Five is set for February 8. The sixth and penultimate meeting of the season will then be held on March 7, leading up to the championship-finale on April 4.