Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was crowned champion of the 2014/2015 BIC 2,000cc Challenge on a windy Friday night at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
Shaikh Hamad secured the title following an impressive double in this season’s seventh and penultimate round, held as part of National Race Day at a floodlit Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
Driving the number 33 white Honda CIVIC, Shaikh Hamad gained enough points to mathematically seal the crown, especially with chief title rival Hussain Karimi not participating.
With the result, Shaikh Hamad claimed his second-ever title in the BIC-bred series. He had previously won his first championship during the 2010/2011 season.
Shaikh Hamad won the meeting’s first 15-lap race from pole position in a time of 20mins 32.748secs.
Tim Birkin in a Honda Integra followed in a distant second place 9.165secs behind Shaikh Hamad, while Alex Longden n a BMW 3 Series completed the podium placers in third 14.647secs back.
Salah Ashkanani (Honda S2000) was fourth +23.435secs from first place, Raed Himmo (Honda CRX) fifth +23.857secs, while Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa (Honda CIVIC) rounded out the six-car classification +1min 26.535secs adrift.
"It’s good to be back on top, now I’m champion twice. With Hussain not competing, I knew from the beginning of the round that I would seal the championship, so I had nothing to lose and I just wanted to improve on my points." – Shaikh Hamad
Shaikh Hamad started from the back of the grid but by turn one had already stormed to the lead with a brilliant start from the grid. He was generally unchallenged the rest of the way as he won in a new race record time of 19mins 46.650secs, which included a fastest lap of 1min 18.382secs.
Way behind were Birkin (+55.921secs) and Longden (+57.638secs) completing the same podium, while Ashkanani was fourth (+14 laps) and Himmo fifth (+56.633secs).
“In the last race, I went flat out as I wanted to break the total time race record, which has been right there since the very beginning of 2,000cc, even at the time we were racing with slick tyres. I was able to do it with my aggressive set up,” - Shaikh Hamad