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BIKC hosts season-opening round of Bahrain Rotax Max Challenge

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Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC) hosted a thrilling first round of the 2021 Bahrain Karting Sprint Championship, featuring the Bahrain Rotax Max Challenge (BRMC).

Four winners emerged in the series’ various categories, including Fahad Alkhaled in the Senior Max class, Fahad Almuqla in the Junior Max, Luca Houghton in the Mini Max and Shaikh Rashid bin Salman Al Khalifa in the Micro Max.

All the round’s action was held along BIKC’s 1.414-kilometre CIK-FIA track. The meeting was run with strict health protection measures in place, in line with government regulations and guidance.

Lewis Smith got off to a hot start in the Senior Max class by taking pole position in Qualifying with a fastest lap of 55.459 seconds. In the Pre-Final, however, Alkhaled was able to claim first place with a sizable gap from the rest of the field.

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Alkhaled then rode his momentum into the Senior Max Final, winning the 15-lap sprint in thrilling fashion, having only taken the lead on the last lap after falling as far behind as fourth. He took the chequered flag in a time of 14:32.945.

Yasser Alshammari finished as the runner-up following the disqualification of Abdulrahman Alahmed, who led for much of the race, which he completed behind Alkhaled at the chequered flag.

Alshammari was then classified 2.683 seconds from the victor, while Smith claimed the final podium step 6.904s back.

In the Junior Max races, Al Muqla was the aggressor from the start. He captured pole with a best lap time of 57.013s in Qualifying, and made the most of his grid position to claim the Pre-Final with a narrow gap ahead of Ahmed Alsesey. The pair continued their intense battle in the Final, and briefly exchanged positions as the top two, before Almuqla finally secured the victory in 14:48.356 after 15 laps.

Alsesey followed just 0.376s, while a distant third was Abdulqader Qasem 22.006s back.

Meanwhile, Shanthosh Kumar grabbed pole position amongst the Mini Max runners with a 59.952s lap, but in the Pre-Final Luca was able to claim the tightest of victories, as Gracie Grantham and Shanthosh both less than eight-tenths of a second behind.

Luca then enjoyed an outright pole-to-flag win in the Final, finishing the nine-lap event in 9:16.198. Shanthosh followed 1.030s behind as the runner-up, and Gracie Grantham came third 1.245s back.

In the Micro Max class, Shaikh Rashid took first place in Qualifying with a fastest lap of 1:03.001. He continued his impressive run all the way through the Pre-Final and Final, which he won convincingly in 9:38.358. Khaled Alnajjar and Charlie Goddard battled each other hard for second place, and at the chequered flag it was Khaled in front 12.251s behind Shaikh Rashid, with Goddard 12.518s adrift.

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