White stars as drag racing championship kicks off
SAKHIR, BH Ė Gary White set a new World Record in the Outlaw Rear-Wheel-Drive (RWD) category to highlight an action-packed opening round of the 2012/2013 Bahrain Drag Racing Championship, hosted over the weekend by Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
More than 100 drivers from across the Gulf competed in the event, which featured 12 competition categories including nine for cars and three for motorbikes.
The meeting was organised by the Bahrain Drag Racing Club (BDRC) in cooperation with the Bahrain Motor Federation and BIC.
Action kick started on Wednesday night with testing and then continued on Thursday with qualifying, before culminating with the final head-to-head races in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
White, representing E Kanoo Racing Team, set a new World Record of 6.342 seconds Ė a mark he set during the qualifying runs which was also a new Personal Best. The veteran American drag racer went on to secure the victory in his class and overcame a tight final battle with teammate and leading Bahraini talent Ebrahim Kanoo.
In the deciding race, White registered a time of 7.085 seconds to take the win. He powered down BICís world-class quarter-mile strip with a top speed of 318.35kph. Kanoo had to settle for second place with a 7.626s run and a best speed of 276.21kph.
Yousif Alzayani finished third as the quicker of the two losing semi-finalists in the Outlaw RWD.
Meanwhile, four Bahraini drivers triumphed in other cars classes, including Adel Hassan Mohammed in the Street Front-Wheel-Drive (FWD) RWD, Ibrahim Mubarak in the Super Street Outlaw FWD, Yousif Abdulla in the Super Street RWD, and Tariq Hadi in the Competition 7.5.
Mohammed triumphed after winning the Street FWD-RWD final in 11.654s, beating Ahmed Faisalís mark of 12.396s. Sharif Hussain was third in the class.
In the Super Street Outlaw FWD, Mubarak emerged the victor after marginally outgunning Jassim Qambar in the final battle. Mubarak set a mark of 9.805s, while Qambar finished not far behind in 9.882s. Ahmed Mohammed was third.
Abdulla followed suit by winning the Super Street RWD class in 9.000s. Rival Jassim Abdul Hadi failed to put on a good run in the decider, and Hamad Almurbati was third.
Amongst entrants in the Competition 7.5 group, Hadi was the man of the hour. He won the final with a time of 7.538s, with Hussain Mohammed taking second in 7.954s. Finishing third was Mohammed Salama.
Elsewhere in the cars classes, Wajdey Tarseen of Saudi Arabia captured the win in the Street V8 category. He secured first place with a time of 9.625s in the final race, where he defeated Adel Khameri. Abduljaleel Abdulhussain finished the evening in third.
The Super Street V8 was claimed by Saudiís Majid Altowailaey who had a mark of 9.075s in the final. Abdulla Alshatey was the runner-up, although he failed to register a mark in the roundís clinching run. Talal Bin Eidan claimed third place.
Abdulla Alsoory led a trio of Kuwaitis onto the podium in the Outlaw 10.5 category. Alsoory had a winning time of 7.398s in the final going against Abdulwahab Alsaleem, who did not register a time as the runner-up. Tarik Alhumaidi made it to third place.
Sultan Alzaabey was then victorious in the Pro Mod category, where he was the best of three UAE drivers who made it onto the podium. Alzaabey won the group final in 7.068s, beating a slow run of runner-up in Khalil Alansari. Rashid Bin Tameem claimed third place.
In the opening roundís three classes for motorbikes, Kuwaiti pair Mosfer Al Mosfer and Mishal Al Sabr both triumphed along with Saudiís Mashari Al Turki.
Al Mosfer won the Street Bike class with a drive of 8.458s in the final, while Khalid Al Fozan was second in 8.703s. Bader Bin Eidan came third. Al Sabr clinched the Pro Bike win ahead of Billy Voss. Mohammed Al Awad was third. Al Turki then won the Super Street Bike class. He had a time of 7.102s in the final to claim the victory, where he beat Kuwaiti Mohammed Al Badeh who had a time of 7.249s. Bader Bin Eidan was third once again.
At the end of the competition, BDRC President Fahad Taqi presented trophies to each competition categoryís winning drivers during a special awarding ceremony.
The second round of the 2012/2013 championship is scheduled to take place December 5 to 7 as part of a National Racing Festival weekend at BIC. Round three will then be held as the first event of the new calendar year from January 2 to 4; round four from January 30 to February 1; and then round five from February 27 to March 1. The sixth and penultimate round of the season will then take place from March 27 to 29, while the season finale will run from April 24 to 26.
For more information on the 2012/2013 Bahrain Drag Racing Championship or other activities at BIC, visit the circuitís official website on www.bahraingp.com
or call the BIC Hotline on +973-17-450000.
Photo by Shaker Salmabad