CHARLIE Frijns, Ralf Aron and Mick Schumacher each claimed a victory yesterday in their respective supporting championships, held as part of the Bahrain Motorsport Festival at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
Frijns won the second race in the season-opening round of the 2016-2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East while Aron clinched race three and Schumacher race four to cap the first meeting of the 2016-2017 MRF Challenge.
Meanwhile, two of Bahrain’s bright young stars were also triumphant in the Porsche GT3 Cup. Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa claimed first place in the Porsche GT3 GCC Rookie Class while Shaikh Isa bin Salman won the race’s bronze category.
Frijns charged to an impressive victory to end an exciting first round in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
The Qatar-based Dutchman started from pole and did well to get away cleanly at the lights. He maintained his lead over the course of the 12-lap sprint and brilliantly held off a challenge from top rival Dylan Pereira.
Frijns timed 25 minutes 09.068 seconds. Pereira was 1.168 seconds behind. Dennis Olsen was third, 4.924s behind the victor.
All three were also in the top three amongst drivers competing in the gold class.
Meanwhile, Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa was crowned the winner of the Porsche GT3 GCC Rookie Class. He beat Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubar to the top spot, while Team Bahrain partner Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa was.
In the silver category, Bandar Alesayi was the winner, followed closely by His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla. Wolfgang Triller was third.
Team Bahrain’s Shaikh Isa bin Salman won the bronze class. The rising star was classified ahead of runner-up Magnus Ohman and Christoffer Bergstrom, who finished third.
The second round of the season takes place at Dubai Autodrome on December 9 and 10.
In the third race of the weekend in the MRF Challenge saw Estonian Aron win in comfortable fashion. Mick Schumacher followed suit by clinching victory in race four, earning him a double for the weekend after also winning race two on Friday.
In race three, pole-sitter Harrison Newey had a torrid start and got jumped by the chasing pack heading into the first corner.
Australian Joey Mawson took the lead with Aron in second and Schumacher third. Schumacher pulled off a brilliant overtaking move into turn nine to get past Aron, but the latter struck back down the main straight to get back into second place.
Newey was forced to retire on lap one, bringing out the safety car for the first time this season. At the restart, Aron wasted no time in overtaking Mawson and then pulled away, winning by a margin of 6.566s.
In race four, Schumacher got the jump on pole-sitter Cardoso to slot into second place behind Vips. It was turn nine again that Schumacher pounced and got past Vips to take the lead and pull away.
The second round of the MRF season takes place at Dubai Autodrome on December 9 and 10, alongside the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.