Tim Birkin and Mohamed Faqihi are headed for an exciting showdown on Friday for the coveted drivers’ title in the 2016/2017 BIC 2,000cc Challenge

The season’s seventh and concluding round decides the matter and BIC’s brilliantly floodlit 2.55-kilometre Inner Track provides a top-class setting for the championship finale.

Birkin, who drives a Honda Integra, heads into the meeting with 181 points. He is the title-favourite as he enjoys a 28-point lead over Faqihi, who boasts 153 markers.

Birkin needs a minimum of 23 points from the final two races to officially secure the crown. A victory in Race One would seal it, as it would earn him 25 points alone.

“I’m very excited about this final round, but I’m also very nervous,”

said a cautious Birkin, who had finished as the championship’s runner-up in the 2,000cc Challenge twice in the past.

“I may be leading the championship but anything can happen. Reliability in my car will be key. It’s going to be super hot on Friday, even if we will be racing at night, so I need to make sure that I check everything in the car and that it’s all in tip-top shape.

“I have finished second in the championship twice before, so I’m hoping it would be third time lucky if I win. It would mean a lot to me to get this title.”

Faqihi, meanwhile, hopes to forge an upset in his Honda CIVIC but understands the massive task ahead of him.

“Currently, the standings show that I am 28 points behind, but technically I still have a chance to win the title,” Faqihi said. “Tim has been consistent the entire year. He has shown that he has the pace and reliability, and he is considered to be one of the championship frontrunners.

“While mathematically winning the title is still possible, on the ground I would need to put in my best effort and have a little luck smiling down my way. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Action on the weekend begins at 4.30pm with a 30-minute Practice session. Qualifying follows at 5.20pm to determine the Race One grid.

The round’s opening 12-lap sprint is then scheduled to flag off at 7.02pm. That paves the way for the championship finale at 8.22pm. The Podium Ceremony will be held right after all the action at 9pm.

Behind Birkin and Faqihi on the championship standings, lady driver Martyna Alqassab (Renault Clio Sport) is ranked third with 138 points. She will be battling hard to finish the season in second place, while Raed Himmo (Honda CIVIC) is not far behind in fourth with 131. Lee Stones (BMW 3 Series/F20C) is in fifth position with 108 points.

All are welcome to attend the season finale of the 2016/2017 BIC 2,000cc Challenge. Tickets are available at the gate. They cost BD2 for adults and BD1 for children

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