AP: Bahrain circuit sponsors local drivers

Bahrain International Circuit Promotes Two Cars of the Formula BMW Asia Championship Formula BMW has proved to be a successful launching pad for many racing drivers who have gone on to bigger and better things. Currently the Formula ...

Bahrain International Circuit Promotes Two Cars of the Formula BMW Asia Championship

Formula BMW has proved to be a successful launching pad for many racing drivers who have gone on to bigger and better things. Currently the Formula is cultivating the careers of a number of Bahraini drivers who have proved their competitive skills behind the wheel of the single-seat racers with speeds up to 230kph.

BMW's Junior Formula series features on the support race program of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix and Bahrain International Circuit is delighted to be involved in the promotion of two more Bahraini drivers who are stepping out on their path to the top of the sport. The two cars are entered in the race by the Minardi Team Asia organization.

The cars will be driven by Bahraini drivers, 24 year old Mohammed Al Baharna and 21 year old Abdulla Mattar. The cars will carry the logo of the "World Final 2005" slogan announcing that BIC will be hosting the final round of the Formula BMW World Final on December 16.

"The BIC is stepping up to its slogan as "Home of Motorsport in the Middle East" by supporting two cars in the Formula BMW Asia race. We are proud that the cars will be driven by two promising Bahraini talents," said Commercial Director, Steven Umfreville.

"The cars will wear the banner of the "World Final Bahrain 2005", which will promote BIC as host to the first ever World Final of the Formula BMW at the end of the year. We are delighted that BMW have chosen Bahrain and the Middle East for this inaugural event and we look forward to the event with immense enthusiasm," he continued.

The two cars will be taking part in round one and two of the Formula BMW Asia, one of the supporting races of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix to be held on April 1, 2 and 3.

Two other Bahraini drivers will also take part in the Formula BMW Asia race, 23 year old Shaikh Salman bin Rashid who is sponsored by the Unstoppabulls team and will be driving for E Rain team while 17 year old Hamad Al Fardan will be driving for the Mertius team. The Formula BMW Asia series will be held at seven venues including Bahrain, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, China and Japan.

Bahrain International Circuit will be the venue for the first World Final of Formula BMW. The event, held from 13th to 16th December 2005, will bring together racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series (Germany, Britain, Asia and the USA) to compete against each other for the first time. The best of the talented junior drivers can look forward to a total purse of 60,000 US dollars.

"Bahrain is an ideal venue for the first Formula BMW World Final," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "In December, the Gulf region affords good weather conditions for high-caliber motor racing. But what we regard as particularly important is that the circuit boasts first-rate safety standards. We are delighted to have won the Bahrain International Circuit as a partner for our project," he said.

Martin Whitaker, General Manager of the Bahrain International Circuit said, "The Formula BMW World Final is an important and significant event for us. We are delighted to be a major partner of BMW at this inaugural event. It will strengthen our position as one of the leading motor sport venues in the world and further endorses our newly launched BMW Performance Center here at the circuit - the first of its kind in the Middle East."

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Series Formula BMW