MANAMA– Salah Salahuddin was yesterday(May 2nd) crowned champion of the 2013/2014 BIC 2,000cc Challenge.
The veteran Bahraini racer secured his first-ever title in the local competition after a perfect final round, held as part of the National Racing Festival at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
Salahuddin was the leading driver all the way through the day’s events, which culminated with him claiming a fine double en route to the sealing the championship.
BIC’s National Racing Festival also featured action in the season’s fourth and penultimate meeting of the Bahrain Drag Racing Championship, which was held late into the night.
The double-header was organised by BIC in cooperation with the Circuit Racing Club, the Bahrain Drag Racing Club, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Motorsport Marshals Club.
“I feel very tired and exhausted because of all the heat today but I’m very happy to be the new champion,” Salahuddin said.
“The team did a great job with my car; I really can’t complain about anything. We were in first place all the way, from practice to qualifying and then the two races.
“It’s a great way to finish off the season.”
Racing in the BIC 2,000cc Challenge was held along BIC’s 2.55-kilometre Inner Track.
Salahuddin’s double earned him a total of eight victories from 16 races this year. He also ultimately claimed his crown by more than 50 points over his closest challenger.
“This past year had its ups and downs,” he recalled. “We started things off with a lot of issues with our car. We were in a very tough spot to begin the championship, but then we figured things out and we started winning and racking up the points.
“Unfortunately for some of the other drivers, they had car issues and missed a lot of races. It would have been a very nice fight until the end, but this is how it goes in racing, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
“I’m very happy that today, it is our time to come out on top.”
Driving his camouflage green Honda CIVIC, Salahuddin topped the timesheet in today’s free practice with a best lap time of one minute 21.872 seconds.
He then moved on to qualifying to secure pole position for the first race with a mark of 1:20.817.
Salahuddin then claimed a fine first race with a winning time of 20:35.832 over 15 laps.
He finished 3.525 seconds ahead of former champion Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who was behind the wheel of a Honda Integra.
Hussain Karimi finished in third place in his Honda CRX 22.612s behind, while Tim Birkin in a Honda Integra claimed fourth 35.496s behind the winner.
Abdulrahman Ghuloom in a Honda CIVIC and Abdulaziz Ashkanani in a Honda S2,000 rounded out the classification.
Salahuddin clocked race one’s fastest lap of 1:20.738.
Riding his momentum from race one, Salahuddin was once again in unbeatable form in race two.
while Birkin claimed the last podium spot nearly a half-minute behind Salahuddin, who had a fastest lap of 1:21.307 for race two.
Following the races, the winners of each race were presented their prizes in a podium ceremony.-BNA