Rene Binder, Julien Falchero, Rinus van Kalmthout and Tom Oliphant were all victorious today in their respective championships
The action was intense and hotly contested in the three supporting series, including the World Series Formula V8 3.5, the MRF Challenge and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
The World Series Formula V8 3.5 was holding the final round of its 2017 campaign, while the MRF and Porsche GT3 Cup were each staging their season-openers.
Binder races to season-ending sprint in Formula V8
Rene Binder won the season-ending race of the World Series Formula V8 3.5, held this afternoon at BIC.
Starting from pole, Binder did well to hold on to his lead until the chequered flag, despite the tough challenge of newly crowned world champion and race one winner Pietro Fittipaldi who finished 2.542 seconds behind.
Ace rookie Tatiana Calderon claimed third 13.573s back, and they completed the podium for the last time this season.
With his title-winning performance this weekend, Fittipaldi, who is the grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, will have a chance to test the 919 Hybrid of WEC champions Porsche.
Falchero and van Kalmthout share race wins in MRF
French GP3 driver Julien Falchero won his first race of the MRF Challenge in Bahrain when he got past Rinus van Kalmthout in the final race of round one today. Van Kalmthout had earlier dominated race three, winning ahead of championship leader Felipe Drugovich and Falchero.
In the opening race of the day, van Kalmthout made the perfect getaway to lead into the first corner with Drugovich holding off Falchero. Behind them Alex Karkosik managed to pass Dylan Young as Martono lost places. Van Kalmthout pulled away with Drugovich and Falchero locked in battle.
He was not troubled and crossed the finish line more than eight seconds ahead. Falchero came alongside Drugovich but was unable to pass the Brazilian and had to settle for third.
The final race of the weekend once again saw van Kalmthout having the perfect start, with Falchero slotting into second ahead of Drugovich. Drugovich passed Falchero only to be repassed by the Frenchman. The Safety Car was called out when Young hit Enqvist in the first corner.
At the restart, Falchero passed van Kalmthout with a great move into the first corner. On lap four, Martono passed Drugovich for third place and closed in on the leaders.
Harri Jones and Michael Amendola collided on lap seven, which brought out the Safety Car for the second time. Van Kalmthout tried to get past Falchero at the restart only for Martono to get past in the first corner.
Van Kalmthout fought back and got past Martono at turn four. Falchero held on to take his first win in the championship ahead of van Kalmthout and Martono.
Oliphant takes race two win in Porsche GT3 Cup
Tom Oliphant clinched a fine victory today in race two of the season-opening round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, held as part of the FIA WEC Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain.
The Briton snatched away the lead from pole-sitter Zaid Ashkanani and did well to hold on until the chequered flag. Oliphant triumphed just 0.527 seconds ahead of Ashkanani, who was 1.636s in front of third-place Al Faisal Al Zubair.
Each of the top three overall were also the leaders in the Gold class.
Team Bahrain’s Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa was the winner in the Silver category. He finished the race sixth overall 13.252s behind the victor.
Khalid Al Wahaibi clinched first place in the Bronze class. He finished 22.612s off the winner’s pace.
Team Bahrain’s other driver, Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, was the Bronze category’s runner-up. He completed the race 33.697s behind Oliphant.