Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024

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Bahrain karters shine on home track as practices continue in Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals

Bahrain karters shine on home track as practices continue in Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals

  • Luca Kane Houghton, Fahad Alkhaled and Mohammed Mattar all top at least one non-qualifying practice session on second day of action
  • Racing continues throughout the rest of the week at BIKC, with free entry at limited capacity

Bahrain’s homegrown karting talent put on an impressive show today on the second day of action in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) 2021, taking place at Bahrain International Circuit’s world-class karting facility in Sakhir.

Three of the 11 competitors flying the Kingdom’s flag—namely Luca Kane Houghton, Fahad Alkhaled and Mohammed Mattar—topped at least one of their three non-qualifying practices held today along Bahrain International Karting Circuit’s (BIKC) 1.414-kilometre CIK-FIA track.

After completing the first three practice sessions on Monday, the field of more than 400 karters from 75 countries took to the tarmac for another three runs.

Luca Kane topped the timesheet in practice six of the Mini MAX category for odd-numbered drivers. He set a best lap time of 58.174 seconds to go fastest for the second time already this week, having done the same in practice three on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Luca Kane was classified second in practice five with a 58.392s best lap, just 0.057s off the pace, and 13th in practice four with a time of 58.618s.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Alkhaled claimed first place in the sixth practice for even-numbered drivers in the Senior MAX class. He raced to a fastest lap of 53.585s to go top of the times. He was earlier second-fastest in practice four with a best lap of 53.577s, before going 10th (54.044s) in the fifth session.

Mattar followed suit by going quickest in the DD2 Masters category. He was consistently in the top four for the day’s opening two sessions, setting a best lap of 53.460s to go third in the fourth practice before being classified fourth (53.495s) in practice five. He then stormed to the top of the timesheet in the sixth practice with a best lap of 53.181s.

Luca Kane, Alkhaled and Mattar headlined the Bahrain karters’ performances today, but there were also some impressive runs amongst the other hometown participants.

In the Mini MAX class, Shanthosh Kumar and Khaled Najjar were competing in the same odd-numbered practice sessions as Luca Kane, and they were classified 24th (59.015s) and 30th (59.197s) respectively in practice four, 25th (58.868s) and 34th (59.726s) in the fifth session, and then 24th (58.892s) and 34th (59.381s) in the sixth.

In the practices for even-numbered Mini MAX karters, Charles Goddard and Gracie Rose Grantham came 26th (59.100s) and 27th (59.105s) in session four. Gracie Rose was then 26th (58.978s) and Charles 27th (58.981s) in the fifth practice, and then Gracie Rose came 24th (58.990s) with Charles 29th (59.158s) in practice six.

In the Senior MAX category, Lewis Smith was the leading Bahrain entrant amongst the odd-numbered karters, finishing in 16th (53.868s) in practice four ahead of Fahad Almuqla, who was 19th (53.893s). Smith was then 14th (53.928s) in practice five while Almuqla came 27th (54.138s), before Almuqla went 15th-fastest (53.837s) in practice six and Smith going 22nd (53.905s).

In the Junior MAX class, Bahrain’s Tye Mejia was competing with the even-numbered karts, and he was 24th (54.956s), 33rd (55.153s) and 31st (55.221s).

Abdulqader Qasem came 33rd (55.638s) amongst the odd-numbered competitors in practice four, before going 36th (56.114s) and 35th (56.119s) in the next two sessions.

This week’s non-qualifying practices continue Wednesday (Editor’s note: 15 December), with the qualifying practices and first qualifying heats also taking place.

This is the first time the RMCGF is being held in the Kingdom. The qualifying heats continue until Thursday (16 December), with the Pre-Finals to be held Friday (17 December), setting the stage for the Finals on Saturday (18 December).

Spectators wishing to witness the very best in global karting can attend free of charge. Due to limited capacity at the karting circuit, entry will be on a first come first served basis.