The Streets and Skies of Bahrain Brought to Life Manama, 24th February 2006; With just two weeks to go before the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway, the capital city Manama today (Friday), witnessed one of the finest moments in its ...
The Streets and Skies of Bahrain Brought to Life
Manama, 24th February 2006; With just two weeks to go before the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway, the capital city Manama today (Friday), witnessed one of the finest moments in its illustrious history: the Yalla Bahrain! F1 Festival. In the shadow of Bahrain's World Trade Centre and the giant Financial Harbour development, a dazzling array of racing machinery hit the streets while the skies were filled by an extraordinary daredevil demonstration from Red Bull 'Flying Bulls' stunt planes and lit up by an extravagant musical firework show.
As the majestic shoreline boulevard, the Corniche on the King Faisal Highway, filled with over 20,000 eager spectators, the Festival began with a cavalcade of motorcycles: both racing machines and rumbling Harley-Davidsons. The bikes were followed by the Bahrain International Circuit's fleet of off-road vehicles from the only 4x4 driving centre in the region and a Toyota Formula One car on a celebratory float.
Next came the high-speed parade of racing cars glinting in the blazing Bahraini sunshine. Thunder Arabia and Formula BMW single-seaters led the way before the Caterham sportscars heralded the arrival of the Porsche Michelin SuperCup GT3s that will be competing on the support bill to the Grand Prix on March 10-12. Finally the BIC's all-new fleet of Chevrolet Lumina V8 SS racers thundered down the Corniche in readiness for their debut in the star-studded pro-celebrity races over the Grand Prix weekend.
After a moment of calm fell over the 1.5km parade route, the skies then erupted with the barnstorming antics of the Flying Bulls display team. The formation of Zlin aerobatic planes whirled, spun, dived and looped in a breathtaking display of skill over the coastline and met a rapturous reception. As darkness fell the event reached a dazzling climax with fireworks that illuminated the city with a deafening barrage and filled the sky with spectacular colour.
Martin Whitaker, General Manager of the BIC commented: "Today was a very proud moment for the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Bahrain International Circuit. It was an absolute pleasure to see the cars roaring down the King Faisal Highway, normally one of Bahrain's busiest streets, and receiving such applause from the massive crowds that came down to take their part in this event.
"Over the past two weeks Bahrain has been lit up by a number of events aimed at creating a real carnival atmosphere in the lead up to the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, from Motorsport Art Exhibition's to Autograph session's and now a parade that attracted over 20,000 people. The next two weeks before the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix see even more festivities with perhaps the highlight being the Yalla Bahrain Spectacular event on 11 March. There is a real buzz of anticipation around the Kingdom at the moment and I am very much looking forward to March 10, 11 and 12."