Saturday, December 16, 2017

CRC Calendar 2017/2018

CRC Testing Friday, October 6, 2017
CRC Round 1 Friday, October 13, 2017
CRC Round 2 Friday, November 3, 2017
CRC Round 3 Friday, December 1, 2017
CRC Round 4

Friday, January 12, 2018 Saturday, January 13, 2018

CRC Round 5

Friday, February 2, 2018 February 2-3, 2018

CRC Round 6

Friday, March 16, 2018 March 16-17, 2018

CRC Round 7 Friday, April 20, 2018
CRC Spare  Friday, May 4, 2018

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Contenders of the Batelco 2000cc Challenge Title prepare to burn rubber at the BIC

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Bahrain International Circuit, Thursday 22nd April 2010: the 7th round of the adrenaline pumping Batelco 2000cc Challenge will be taking place at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East this weekend, Friday 23rd April. With several last minute changes and the possible return of two drivers to the starting grid, the penultimate round will be one of the most competitive on track battles of this year’s season.


Following a dominant display of driving and two decisive victories during the previous round, Shaikh Hamad Al Khalifa currently leads the pack of local drivers with 102 points, 8 points ahead of Shaikh Salman Al Khalifa. Driving a Honda Civic and backed by the dedicated Zspeed Team, Shaikh Hamad has performed to a very high standard this season and even with several missed races due to illness, he still has managed to muscle his way to the top of the table. While his skills behind the wheel have led to many podium finishes, his trusty Honda Civic has consistently performed to a very high standard allowing the Bahraini driver to maximize his potential on track. The Zspeed team have made sure that Shaikh Hamad’s car is free from malfunctions and breakdowns, working hard to squeeze every last drop of horsepower from the 2.0 liter engine.

Shaikh Hamad commented, “The penultimate round of this year’s championship will be one of the most challenging ones yet as the competitiveness in the Batelco 2000cc Challenge has reached an all time high. The car timings this year are very close and highlight just how skilled the participating drivers are. My own Honda Civic is performing very well but it will still be difficult to stay in front as everyone is hungry to be at the top of the table. I always thought it is harder to maintain your lead as once at the top you have to fight everyone else, where as if you are second or third you are motivated to improve your ranking. The weekend’s races will be very interesting, especially if it rains as per the weather forecast, as that always adds a whole new dimension to the race!”

Following Shaikh Hamad with 94 points is Shaikh Salman, driving a Honda CRX and also backed by the Zspeed Team. Last round saw a determined Shaikh Salman speed to two second place finishes which pushed his ranking to second in the overall standings, giving him a good chance at claiming this year’s championship title depending on his performance in the following two rounds. The 7th round will be a decisive one for Shaikh Salman as he tries to finish as close to the front as possible to win the maximum amount of points, with a win giving him a valuable 12 point boost per race.

Shaikh Salman commented on the weekend’s racing action, “the 7th round will be very different from the previous round – rain is forecasted for the weekend which will completely change the on track strategy and make for a much trickier race. We may also be joined by two additional drivers which would increase the grid size and mean more competitors on the tarmac. Overall it is looking to be a very competitive race, but strategy will remain the same and hopefully Zspeed can claim another one-two victory.”

 “We have only completed some maintenance work on the Honda CRX in preparation for the upcoming round as we have found a very successful set up which seems to work very well on track with minimal mechanical issues. We have worked with this set up from pretty much the beginning of the season and I have a good understanding of how to get the best performance out of the car,” he concluded.

Following a host of mechanical issues, breakdowns and a lack of part replacements, third place Mustafa Al Khan announced his withdrawal from the 2010 Batelco 2000cc Challenge and with it any chance at repeating his 2008-09 Championship title win. With three first place finishes and 92 points, Al Khan remains one of the contenders for this year’s title. His decision to withdraw will reduce the contenders for this year’s crown to Shaikh Hamad, Shaikh Salman and Shaikh Jaber Al Khalifa.

 Al Khan stated, “I feel it is for the best if I withdraw from the remaining races of the season as given our current mechanical situation it is unrealistic to expect the car’s performance to be anywhere close to where it should be. The Honda Civic has accumulated several complex mechanical issues such as a transmission failure, break problems and a variety of other contributing factors which have resulted in the need to rebuild the entire break system. Also, my replacement tires from the U.S have not arrived on time which just adds even more problems to fix.”

“Shaikh Hamad and Shaikh Salman are performing very well this season and it is extremely difficult to catch up with them on track. They have figured out an excellent configuration for their cars and it is paying off. The amount of power they can produce is just too much to compete with.”

“While I will be withdrawing from this year’s championship, I will be back next year with a better and improved set up. This year has allowed us to understand what we need to work on to get back in front of the pack and we will not be giving up any time soon! Hopefully next year will also see more cars on track as it is always much more fun with a packed grid,” he concluded.

As the final contender for this year’s championship, Shaikh Jaber Al Khalifa is set to bring his best performance yet to the starting line this weekend. While he has also experienced a variety of technical issues, Shaikh Jaber and his team are working around the clock to get his car operational for the 7th round of the season. He has found himself on the podium nine times this season and will be a threat to the other contenders for this year’s championship title as the season comes to a close with only two rounds remaining on the calendar.

 “This year has been a very exciting championship! I feel the title battle will be between Shaikh Hamad and Shaikh Salman as many of the other drivers are trying to deal with technical issues at the moment. They have very light cars with a lot of power and have been very competitive this year. It is a very tough series and every race is a stiff fight to finish on the podium as everyone aims for glory. I am trying to fix some car problems of my own in time for this round but it remains to be seen whether we will get everything fixed on time,” commented Shaikh Jaber.

The event will be taking place from 9am to 5pm and all are welcome to attend. Tickets are available for those looking to attend the event and are priced at BD2 for adults, while 15 year olds and under will receive a half price discount. Those under the age of three years may attend completely free of charge. Tickets can be bought via the BIC call center on +973-17450000 and at the BIC Welcome Center located at the Circuit in Sakhir.