- Published: 25 February 2008
It was a nail-biting fifth round yesterday which saw drama upon drama as Shaikh Hamad bin ISa Al Khalifa and Abdul Aziz Al Yaeesh set the Lumina CSV ME Championship ablaze on the BIC circuit. Each driver picked up pole position in each race, whilst Bahrain’s Fahad Al Musalam had a bout of bad luck which put him in eighth after the first race and fifth at the end of the second.
And whilst Al Yaeesh continued to give a consistent performance this round, Shaikh Hamad was quick to snatch his first season victory in the second race, putting Al Yaeesh in second. In a round which took place as part of the National Racing Festival 2008, the final standings see Al Musalam still on top with 15 points, whilst Al Yaeesh remains close behind with 15 points, and Shaikh Hamad’s tally climbs up a staggering 137 points.
Shaikh Hamad snatches his first victory
All eyes turned to Shaikh Hamad in the second race as he cruised into first place leaving all competition behind him in his dust. Shaikh Hamad also managed to gain an additional point after recording a phenomenal lap time of 1’18’’491. With such a wide gap between him and his rivals, Al Yaeesh had no choice but to settle for second position.
Al Yaeesh managed to make up points whilst Al Musalam faced slight misfortune. The final five laps saw him go head to head with Elgammal and defeat the Australian racer, picking up second place, whilst Al Musalam settled for fifth place.
The results at the end of the round were as follows: 1. Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; 2. Abdul Aziz Al Yaeesh; 3. Tarek Elgammal; 4. Pablo Rudolfi; 5. Fahad Al Musalam; 6. Fahad Hizam; 7. Ahmed Hamada; 8. Raed Charawi; 9. Adel Shaji; 10. Bandar Al Selmi; 11. Helmut Fleischmann; 12. Jaap Vaandrager; 13. Cristophe Mariot; 14. Marwa Al Eifa; 15. Husam Al Saleh
Al-Yaeesh, Elgammal and Argentinean Coscia take the podium
The first round saw intense action and even more drama following a collision between Abdul Aziz Al Yaeesh and Fahad Al Musalam at the first turn, which put Al Musalam in seventh place and propelled Al Yaeesh into first. To fill the gaps, Tarek Elgammal and Argentinean Franco Coscia stepped up to second and third positions.
Five laps into the first race and Al Yaeesh continued to widen the gap between himself and his rivals, as Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa crept into fifth place. Al Musalam was further disadvantaged after a near miss with Ahmed Hamada's car which set him back another position, giving Fawaz Al Gosaibi's Argentinean guest driver Coscia a chance to clamber up to third. However, Tarek Elgammal kept up the pressure on Al Yaeesh and held onto second place, but further bad luck for Al Musalam left his car bumper-less for the remainder of the race.
The third lap saw Jaap Vaandrager pullout from the race, as did Bandar Al Selmi in the seventh lap due to technical failures. Shaikh Hamad recorded a fastest lap time of 1'18''668 which awarded him a further point.
Post-race deliberations following Al Yaeesh and Al Musalam's collision put Al Yaeesh right at the back of the starting grid in 15th position, but still managed to hold onto his first race result.
First race standings were as follows: 1. Abdul Aziz Al Yaeesh; 2. Tarek Elgammal; 3. Franco Coscia; 4. Ahmed Hamada; 5. Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; 6. Fahad Hizam; 7. Raed Charawi; 8. Fahad Al Musalam; 9. Jacques Levet; 10. Helmut Fleischmann; 11. Adel Shaji; 12. Husam Al Saleh; 13. Marwa Al Eifa; 14. Jaap Vaandrager; 15. Bandar Al Selmi.
The sixth and final round is all set to go alongside the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix this coming 4 – 6 April.
Points and standings after the fifth round:
1. Fahad Al Musalam 156 points
2. Abdul Aziz Al Yaeesh 152 points
3. Sh. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa 137 points
4. Ahmed Hamada 112 points
5. Tarek Elgammal 100 points
6. Fahad Hizam 94 points
7. Raed Raffii 92 points
8. Raed Charawi 85 points
9. Adel Shaji 76 points
10. Helmut Fleischmann 62 points
11. Bandar Al Selmi 55 points
12. Fawaz Al Gosaibi 47 points
13. Jacques Levet 44 points
14. Husam Al Saleh 43 points
15. Marwa Al Eifa 26 points
16. Christophe Mariot 18 points
17. Sherif Al Sakkaf 14 points
18. Jaap Vaandrager 11 points