Ali Baslar and Mohammed Mattar claimed a win apiece in a record-breaking first round of the 2015/2016 SWS Bahrain Championship, held at a bustling Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC).

Baslar had a pole-to-flag victory in the season’s opening race and then Mattar took a share of the honours by taking a hard-earned victory in Race Two.

Both drivers have made their title ambitions known with the results, setting the stage for a hugely exciting and hotly contested campaign in BIKC’s highly popular arrive-and-drive series.

The meeting attracted a record grid of 21 karters for each of the two races – the most in the history of the SWS Bahrain Championship, according to BIKC officials. The field included competitors from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK and Canada.

Baslar and Mattar were at the top of the timesheets from the very beginning of the evening’s events. Mattar immediately displayed his quickness by setting the pace in Free Practice with a best lap time of 1min 15.042secs. Baslar stepped it up in Qualifying and improved the day’s fastest mark to 1min 13.811secs to take pole for Race One.

Race 1

Baslar did well to defend his position through the season’s first 11-lap sprint. He completed the race in 13mins 43.257secs, finishing narrowly ahead of Mattar who followed 0.972secs behind.

Abdulla Al Thawadi captured the third podium step after crossing the finish 4.512secs back.

Baslar clocked Race One’s fastest lap of 1min 13.927secs.

Race 2

In the follow-up sprint, Mattar battled hard to claim the win as he warded off a charging Baslar in the process. Mattar took the chequered flag in 13mins 45.127secs, finishing just 0.218secs ahead of Baslar, who this time had to settle for the runner-up spot.

Buhindi improved on his Race One classification and joined them on the podium in third, 0.508secs behind the victor.

Alwazzan registered the best lap of Race Two, clocking a mark of 1min 13.966secs.

Baslar and Mattar will be hoping to build on their fine start with another strong showing in the season’s second round, scheduled to be hosted by BIKC on June 29.

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