Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’, hosts the first National Race Day of the 2020/2021 season tomorrow in Sakhir.
The meeting is to be held as a night event under BIC’s state-of-the-art floodlights, and it will feature the opening round of the 2020/2021 BIC 2,000cc Challenge, the Gulf’s longest-running circuit racing championship.
National Race Day is being orgainsed by BIC, in cooperation with the Bahrain Motor Federation and Circuit Racing Club.
Amidst the current health situation, no spectators or guests of participants will be permitted to attend. Entry to BIC is restricted to the registered drivers and their appointed crew.
Action is scheduled to get underway at 5.52pm with a 30-minute practice, to be followed by qualifying starting at 6.52pm, also set for 30 minutes. The round’s first 12-lap race will then flag off at 8.13pm, with race two set for 9.23pm. Podium ceremonies will be held after reach sprint.
This weekend’s field includes 17 participants will be battling it out along BIC’s 2.55-kilometre Inner Track in the Pro and Novice categories.
Spearheading the Pro class will be former overall champions Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Honda Civic), Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Honda Civic), Tareq Al Tajer (Ford Focus), and Raed Himmo (Honda Civic). They will all be battling it out against the talented pair of Raed Raffii (Honda S2000) and Nasser Al Alawi (Honda S2000), both of whom have challenged for the crown in past seasons.
The Novice category is set to have its most exciting battles yet, with last season’s winner in class Wiebke Buelow (Honda Civic) looking to retain her championship. She is one of two female drivers competing and excelling in the 2,000cc Challenge, with the other being Martyna Al Qassab (Acura DC5).
They will be up against a field that includes Andreas Buelow (Honda Civic), Ramzi Al Qassab (Acura DC5), Majed Himmo (Honda Civic), Samer Ghazwan (BMW E46), Khaled Al Rayyes (Renault Clio), Giovanni Salerno (Ford Focus), Ali Al Toblani (Honda Civic), Ahmed Al Ghatam (Honda Civic), and Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa (BMW Z3).
Each of the competitors took part in a pre-season test held at BIC last week.
Ahmed Bin Khanen claimed last season’s overall title at the end of a shortened campaign in which he managed to claim one win in 12 races and stand on the podium five other times. Raffii was his closest rival, while Shaikh Salman came third both overall and in the Pro class.
Wiebke was victorious in the Novice category after finishing on the points standings narrowly ahead of Husain Al Ghanem and Andreas Buelow.
This season’s 2,000cc Challenge is set to include seven meetings, culminating in April of next year. Round two is scheduled for October 16, while round three will be held on the weekend of November 12 to 14 in support of the FIA WEC 8 Hours of Bahrain. Round four will be the first event of 2021 on January 8, followed by round five on February 5 and round six on March 5. The season-finale is then slated for April 2.