THE 2018-2019 national racing season came to a thrilling conclusion over the weekend at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
The seventh and final round of National Race Day saw action in the kingdom’s four leading circuit racing championships, and six different winners emerged following some hotly contested battles.
Headlining the events were Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Raed Himmo in the BIC 2,000cc Challenge.
Ahmed Almuyini and Abdul Samee also enjoyed some of the spotlight, with each claiming a double in their respective series – Almuyini in Bahrain Motorcycle Racing (BMR) 600 and Samee in Bahrain Super Sport Championships (BSS) 125.
Elsewhere, Masoud Behbehani and Simranjeet Singh shared the honours in the Bahrain Superbike Championship (BSBK).
All the action was held along BIC’s 2.55km Inner Track, with part of the day’s programme taking place during daytime and part of it at night under the circuit’s state-of-the-art floodlights.
In the BIC 2,000cc Challenge, Shaikh Salman had a brilliant start to the season finale after topping the practice time sheets and then securing pole position for the first of two 12-lap sprints.
He eventually went on to win Race One in 15mins 46.892secs driving his multi-coloured Honda Civic.
Finishing runner-up in a Ford Focus was Tareq Al Tajer, who was a close 2.996secs behind, while Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, also in a Civic, was third, 13.200secs from the winner.
In Race Two, Majed Himmo was at the front of the start grid but it was Raed Himmo who took the win in 18mins 47.690secs in a Civic. Al Tajer was once again second, this time 2.457secs adrift, while Mohamed Faqihi in a Civic was third 8.670secs behind the victor.
In the BMR 600, Almuyini was the man of the day, powering to the top of the series’ every session. In Race One, he completed the 11 laps in 13mins 01.448secs for victory. He was a comfortable 11.936secs ahead of runner-up Ibrahim Alsharida, while Hasan Al Awadhi was third, 12.499secs back.
In Race Two, Almuyini completed his double with a fine win in 13mins 08.768secs. Alsharida and Al Awadhi once again joined him on the podium, with Sharida this time finishing a closer 4.778secs behind and Al Awadhi 8.569secs back.
Just like Almuyini, Samee topped every session in the BSSP 125. In the eight-lap opening sprint, Samee won in 13mins 16.578secs, 8.006secs clear of Yusuf Qaed. Shaun Gillespie was third, 10.988secs back.
Race Two featured the same trio atop the classification but in different finishing positions. Samee was again the winner in 13mins 26.145secs, while Gillespie was second with a 3.305secs gap and Qaed third, 7.772secs off the pace.
In the BSBK season finale, Singh topped the practice times but it was Behbehani who captured pole position for Race One. Behbehani made the most of his starting position and charged to victory. He completed the 11 laps in 13mins 17.184secs. Singh followed 4.244secs behind, while Bhumik Lalwani was third, 14.825secs back.
In Race Two, Singh triumphed ahead of Lalwani while Kamran Dubash was third.
The winners were presented their prizes by officials from BIC, Bahrain Motor Federation, Circuit Racing Club and Bahrain Motorcycle Club.