Teams arrive for Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Teams arrive for Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain

Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is all ready to host the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this weekend with the much-anticipated Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain. The endurance racing spectacle, happening as part of the four-day BIC National Day Festival, marks the midway point of the 2019/2020 WEC season. Race fans will be able to enjoy the Le Mans-inspired action on Friday and Saturday at the Sakhir track, while the National Day celebrations will be held from Friday all the way through to Monday.

WEC officials and team members have already begun arriving in the kingdom. They have been hard at work over the past couple of days at BIC unpacking their crates of equipment and setting up their respective bases and garages in preparation for the start of racing. A number of the WEC’s star drivers have also started to reach Bahrain. Russian Roman Rusinov of LMP2 team G-Drive Racing was among the first to make it to the Kingdom.

He and the other WEC delegates were given a warm welcome upon their arrival at Bahrain International Airport by BIC’s Meet and Greet team members. The WEC’s set-up at BIC continues Wednesday as “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” becomes “the home of endurance racing in the Middle East”, as dubbed by WEC CEO Gerard Neveu. The Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain is the WEC’s only event in the region, and it kicks off the on-track activities on Thursday, which will be closed to the public.

There will be a pair of 90-minute practices on the day, setting the stage for another 60-minute practice and qualifying on Friday. The big eight-hour race is then scheduled for Saturday, starting in the daylight at 3pm and continuing until 11pm with BIC being brilliantly lit by its state-of-the-art floodlighting system. Tickets to each day of WEC and the BIC National Day Festival are just BD1 per person per day.

They can be purchased online at BIC’s official website, by calling the BIC Hotline on +973- 17450000 or at the BIC stand at City Centre Bahrain. Aside from the WEC, there will also be racing in racing in two highly popular support series: the MRF Challenge single-seater championship from India and the BIC-based Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East. Off the race track, the entertainment throughout the fourday festival will be highlighted by nightly concerts featuring some of the region’s biggest names in music.

Star singer Balqees will be taking to the stage on the first night on Friday, followed by Mohammed Al Salem on Saturday. Essa Al Marzouq will then perform on Sunday and then Abdulla Al Rowaished will go live on stage on Monday. Each concert is scheduled for an 8.30pm start every night.

There will also be the biggest fireworks display in the Kingdom of Bahrain at the festival, as well as world-class performing artists from around the globe such as The Black Angels acrobats, Spark! LED Drummers and Stannage International Stunt Team, plus carnival rides for kids, traditional music, food stalls and a shopping bazaar.

The BIC National Day Festival is being held with the support of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.