Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024

Event Overview

BIC is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, as the opening round of the 2024 season and its first-ever Saturday night race at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East on 29 February to 2 March 2024.

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Due to exceptional demand, we have continued to expand our hospitality offerings. This year, we are delighted to offer The Dome Lounge by F1 Experiences, as well as The Champions Club, both tailor-made in response to the massive interest in hospitality options for the grand prix. In addition, the ultimate in world-class hospitality is available in The Paddock Cub Please note that Corporate boxes for 2024 are now sold out.

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Sakhir Rotax karting off to hot start as Smith, Houghton and Barbier each claim doubles

Sakhir Rotax karting off to hot start as Smith, Houghton and Barbier each claim doubles

Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC), the Middle East’s world-class grassroots motorsport facility, hosted a rip-roaring opening two rounds of the 2022 Sakhir Rotax MAX Challenge (SRMC), held over the weekend at the BIKC premises in Sakhir.

The back-to-back meetings brought together the Kingdom’s leading racers of different ages and nationalities, all of whom were competing in their very own Rotax-powered karts.

Three youngsters came away with fantastic doubles, including Lewis Smith in the Senior MAX class, Luca Kane Houghton in the Junior MAX category and Levin Barbier in the Micro MAX. Joining them on the podium with a win apiece in the Mini MAX class were round one winner Shaikh Ahmed bin Saqer Al Khalifa and round two victor Isa Almoayed.

Racing in both meetings took place along BIKC’s 1.414-kilometre CIK-FIA track.

In round one, Fahad Almuqla got the better of Smith by 0.019 seconds in Senior MAX Qualifying and then won the Pre-Final by just 0.101s ahead of Shaikha Haya bint Duaij bin Salman Al Khalifa, with Smith in third.

But in the 15-lap Final, Smith took over as the leader on the third lap and held on all the way to the chequered flag, winning in a total time of 13 minutes 48.724 seconds. Joining Smith on the podium was Oliver Kruglov, who 0.841s behind as the runner-up, and Almuqla, who had to settle for third 0.998s back.

Shaikha Haya was classified fourth, Tijl Joep Huisman fifth, Leen Alarafi sixth and Omar Alderayan seventh.

In the Junior MAX category, Houghton was the leader at the start, taking pole for the Pre-Final. But there, he could only manage third place as Mohammed Alhasan clinched the win and Gracie Rose Grantham was the runner-up.

However, Houghton recovered masterfully in the Final, although not without a tight battle all the way until the end with Alhasan and Gracie Rose. Houghton powered to the front on the 15th and last lap and won in 13:51.631. Gracie Rose followed close behind 0.110s adrift, while Alhasan was third 6.025s back with a five-second penalty.

Completing the Junior MAX classification were Khalid Alnajjar, Abdulqader Qasem, Tye Mejia, Jaber Alsabah, Sager Almousherji and Yousif Alali.

In the Micro MAX class, Ali Almoayed finished ahead of Levin both in Qualifying and in the Pre-Final, with Mohammed Waleed in third. In the nine-lap Final, Ali went on to take the chequered flag but Levin inherited the victory as Ali and Mohammed were each handed five-second penalties.

Levin thus claimed first place in 9:36.295, 2.627s ahead of Ali and 13.779s in front of Mohammed.

In the Mini MAX, Isa Almoayed was the top finisher in Qualifying but Shaikh Ahmed claimed the Pre-Final. Shaikh Ahmed then rode that momentum into the nine-lap Final, powering to the front on the first lap and never looking back. Shaikh Ahmed went on to win in 8:56.246, while Isa was 9.547s behind and Rashid Kanoo 12.301s from the victor for the final podium place.

Thrilling second round

The hugely exciting SRMC season-opener set the stage for another action-packed timetable of racing the following day.

Almuqla got things off on a positive note in round two by capturing pole in the Senior MAX Qualifying session, but it was Smith who won the Pre-Final by just 0.534s from Kruglov.

In the Final, Smith was once again challenged by Almuqla and the pair exchanged places up front twice across the 15-lap sprint. Smith was the beneficiary on the second occasion as it was then when he took the lead for good on lap 10. He charged on to take the chequered flag and won in 13:48.800 to complete his season-opening double.

Almuqla crossed the line as runner-up but was disqualified and left off the race classification, handing over second place to Kruglov. Huisman was third, while fourth through sixth, respectively, were Alderayan, Alarafi and Suliman Alrubaya.

In the Junior MAX category, Gracie Rose finished ahead of Houghton in Qualifying but they switched positions at the end of the Pre-Final. Houghton then went on to clinch a pole-to-flag victory without losing the lead all through the 15-lap Final, to win in 13:44.772.

Gracie Rose finished second but needed to fend off the efforts of Musaad Albassam. She was a narrow 0.070s behind Houghton, while in third was Alhasan 1.239s off the winning pace.

Albassam finished fourth, while the rest of the classification included Qasem, Alnajjar, Alsabah, Alali, Almousherji and Mejia.

In the Micro MAX class, Levin outduelled Ali in Qualifying by just 0.015s before going on to win the Pre-Final. Levin then completed his weekend double by taking the nine-lap Final in 9:40.242, with Ali 4.525s back.

The Mini MAX battles saw Shaikh Ahmed beat Isa by 0.893s in Qualifying and then taking the Pre-Final by 11.792s from Rashid. But in the Final, it was Isa who was celebrating after gaining the lead on lap three and eventually emerging triumphant in 9:05.631. He enjoyed a comfortable gap of 7.534s ahead of Rashid, with Shaikh Ahmed completing the podium-placers in third.

At the end of both meetings, the winners were presented their respective trophies in podium ceremonies attended by Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), BIKC and Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) officials.

The third and fourth rounds of the SRMC will also be held on successive days on October 14 and 15.

The SRMC will then set the stage for the Bahrain Rotax MAX Challenge, which will flag off just a few weeks later in November with the first of eight rounds.

Racing is being organised by BIKC in cooperation with BIC and the Bahrain Motor Federation.