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BIC 2,000CC CHALLENGE SET FOR GRAND OPENING

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BIC, Sakhir – Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) confirmed today that the 2012/2013 season of the BIC 2,000cc Challenge will kick off at the upcoming Six Hours of Bahrain weekend, taking place September 28 and 29 in Sakhir.

The Six Hours of Bahrain is part of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). It is the newest addition to BIC’s action-packed calendar of world-class motor racing events, and it will be the first time ever that such a race will be held in the entire Middle East.

The 2,000cc Challenge will be supporting the WEC festival all weekend long.

The championship has become one of the most popular in the Kingdom, as it caters to gentleman drivers who wish to excel at the entry level of circuit racing. Competitors feature many top talents, both locals and expatriates, who bring in their very own two-litre cars to battle it out for pride and supremacy.

Organised by the Circuit Racing Club (CRC) in cooperation with the Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) and BIC, the new season of the 2,000cc Challenge is set to feature eight rounds of high-octane racing.

The first round’s action will begin behind closed doors on Thursday, September 27, with a 30-minute free practice starting at 5.45pm. The weekend’s first open day to the public will then be held on Friday (September 28), and fans will be able to watch another practice at 10am followed by qualifying at 12.10pm. The weekend’s first race will then be held later that afternoon, starting from 3.10pm.

Race two of round one will then take place on Saturday (September 29) at 1pm, just hours before the weekend’s main event, the Six Hours of Bahrain, which flags off at 4pm.

Expected to be leading the charge in the BIC 2,000cc Challenge this season is returning champion Stephen Kellogg (Honda CIVIC), who will be keen to defend the crown he won in dominant fashion last year.

Kellogg stormed to his maiden title after winning 10 of the championship’s 14 races and accumulating an unbeatable total of 301 points for the season. He was 26 points clear of his closest rival, Tim Birkin (Honda Integra), and 67 points ahead of Abdulrahman Ghuloom (Honda CIVIC), who finished in third.

Other drivers to compete last season were Alex Longden (BMW 3 Series), Ahmed Kuzbar (Ford Focus 2.0), Hussain Karimi (Honda CRX), Abdulla Al Jowder (Honda CIVIC),  Salah Salahuddin (Honda CIVIC), Raed Himmo (Honda CRX), Hisham Al Othman (Honda CRX), Hamed Kuzbar (Ford Focus 2.0), and former champion Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (Honda CIVIC).

The 2012/2013 campaign marks the sixth edition of 2,000cc Challenge. Past champions include Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, two-time winner Mustafa Al Khan, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and Kellogg.

Following the season-opening round held in support of the WEC mega event, round two is scheduled to take place as part of BIC’s Speed Weekend on November 16 and 17. Round three is then slated to be a part of the National Racing Festival on December 7 and 8; while round four will be the championship’s first event of 2013, scheduled on January 18 and 19.

The 2,000cc Challenge’s fifth round will then be held on February 1 and 2, followed by round six on March 1 and 2, round seven on March 29 and 30, and the season’s eighth and final round on April 26 and 27.

Each of the last four meetings will be taking place as part of a National Racing Festival event.

At the upcoming Six Hours of Bahrain, action on the race track from the WEC and the BIC 2,000cc Challenge will be perfectly complemented by plenty of family entertainment off of the tarmac. This will be highlighted by a live performance by Arab singing sensation Majid Al Mohandis on Saturday, September 29.

Other attractions throughout the weekend include stage shows, roaming performers, carnival games and children’s attractions, to name a few.

Tickets to the Six Hours of Bahrain cost BD20 per adult. Children aged 15 years old and younger can get in for half the price.

Tickets can be purchased online at the official BIC website, www.bahraingp.com, or at the BIC Welcome Centre located next to the circuit’s main entrance. They can also be bought at the BIC Stand in Seef Mall and at the Batelco outlets in Bahrain City Centre and The Centre (formerly Al Alawi Complex).

Only those with tickets to the Six Hours of Bahrain will be permitted to attend the Majid Al Mohandis concert. Ticket-holders will also be able to roam around the circuit as they please, and they can take advantage of the Open Paddock to get an up-close-and-personal look at everything that goes on behind the scenes during a WEC event.

BIC is also offering Hospitality Lounge Passes for those looking for an exclusive experience at the Six Hours of Bahrain. With a Hospitality Lounge Pass, which costs BD190 each, race goers will be able to enjoy many benefits not available to regular ticket holders.

For more information on everything on offer for the Six Hours of Bahrain, visit www.bahraingp.com or www.fiawec.com, or call the BIC Hotline on +973-17-450000.