What to remember:
- Faqihi won both the day’s races in the eighth and final round of the BIC 2,000cc Challenge.
- Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa secured the driver’s title in the 2,000cc, earning him the coveted crown for the second time in his national racing career. He had earlier won the title in the series’ very first season in 2007/2008.
- Stephen Kellogg announced his retirement from the BIC 2,000cc Challenge. The 2011/2012 champion has been one of the most consistent and successful competitors in the series, which he has been involved in since its inaugural campaign.
Driving a Honda CIVIC, Faqihi secured pole position with a best lap of one minute 19.050 seconds, which was a new personal best time around BIC’s 2.55-kilometre inner track. Faqihi went on to win the opening 12-lap sprint in 17 minutes 19.234 seconds.
He did well to fend off the challenge of newly crowned champion Shaikh Salman, who battled hard in his own CIVIC but had to settle for the runner-up spot 0.833 seconds behind. Tim Birkin in a Honda Integra claimed third place a distant 24.895s from Faqihi.
Kellogg (CIVIC, +1:04.265), Lee Stones (Renault Clio, 11 laps) and Mohammed Janahi (Mini Cooper, 10 laps) rounded out the final classification. Four drivers did not finish.
In race two, Faqihi capped his near-perfect day with a win in 16:09.391. Alex Longden in a BMW 3 Series/F20C was in second place 5.234s off of the winning pace, while Tim Birkin came third 7.066s back.
Shaikh Salman had to settle for fourth but that would do little against him claiming the season’s overall crown. He had clocked the second race’s best lap of 1:18.885, which was also the overall best of the day.
Classified fifth through ninth place, respectively, were Kellogg (+24.379s), Raed Himmo (CIVIC, +34.535s), Michael Priester (Honda CRX, +44.263s), Stones (+1:03.629) and Janahi (10 laps).
A word with the winner: Mohammed Faqihi
“It’s been a fantastic weekend,” said Faqihi. “I’ve been waiting for a result like this for a very long time, and to put it simply, I’m ecstatic.
“I put in a lot of time and effort into the car to get it where it is now. I was able to get my personal best time today in qualifying and came close to matching it in race one.
“It has taken a lot of hard work, learning the performance, how it reacts, and then putting it all together. This a very good finish to this season and it gives me some good momentum heading into next year, which I will be taking one race at a time.”
To end the 2015/2016 BIC 2,000cc Challenge, Shaikh Salman topped the championship standings ahead of Longden and Karimi.