Bahrain commits to drag racing

BIC Commits to Drag Racing Bahrain, 6 September 2005 -- Drag racing is one of the most popular forms of motorsport in the Middle East and has thousands of enthusiasts who for many years have not had a unique venue at which...

BIC Commits to Drag Racing

Bahrain, 6 September 2005 -- Drag racing is one of the most popular forms of motorsport in the Middle East and has thousands of enthusiasts who for many years have not had a unique venue at which to watch or participate in their favourite pastime. The construction of Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in 2004 changed all that with the creation of a purpose-built quarter mile strip within the confines of the world's leading Grand Prix circuit.

Motorsport's popularity in the Middle East is increasing rapidly, boosted by the presence of BIC as the home of motorsport in the region. BIC now hosts regular local and regional drag races at which competitors from throughout the Gulf region play to a packed crowd of enthusiastic and knowledgeable supporters. As drag racing's popularity grows and organisers look for more state-of-the-art venues at which to stage world class events, it was only a matter of time before BIC investigated the potential of hosting a round of the FIA's prestigious European Drag Racing Championship.

A number of discussions, culminating in the hosting of the annual meeting of the FIA Drag Racing Commission resulted in the Circuit being awarded the opening round of the 2006 FIA Championship. As part of the FIA's stringent safety requirements BIC was asked by the Commission to undertake additional work on its drag strip to satisfy certain criteria and to host an Exhibition event prior to the Championship event. As a result the Circuit's management committed considerable levels of funding and embarked upon a rigorous schedule of regrinding work in order to make BIC's strip one of the best in the world. This work will begin in November of this year. In the meantime the Circuit has purchased new equipment that will enable BIC to run events to a world-class level.

In negotiating the various contracts for the establishment of the Exhibition event in 2005 the management became increasingly concerned about the level of costs being levied at this one- off event. After careful consideration of the commercial situation the Circuit elected, with the support of the FIA Drag Racing Commission, to host an event that required a reduced number of competitors whilst still satisfying the demands of both the FIA Safety Delegate and the countless thousands of drag racing supporters throughout the Gulf region.

This event will take place in November 2005 with the support of both the FIA Drag Racing Commission and Trakbak Racing Ltd and BIC is now finalising details of the Exhibition event. This will be the first time an event of this nature has been held in the Middle East and will be welcomed by competitors and drag racing enthusiasts, particularly as it comes at a time when increasing pressure is mounting on organisers in Europe to find new venues for the sport.

Since its opening in March 2004, BIC has run many successful events including two rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship, for which it received the Best-Organised Grand Prix Trophy from the FIA in 2004, the Bahrain GT Festival and the Bahrain F3 SuperPrix. Later this year, in addition to the Drag Racing Festival, it will host the final rounds of the GP2 and FIA GT Championships as well as the BMW Junior Formula World Final.

Recently it has also been announced that the Circuit will host one of only two International rounds of the increasingly popular Australian Supercar V8 Championship, and the management of the Circuit looks forward with immense pride and enthusiasm to hosting not only the Drag Racing Festival but also the inaugural round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship in 2006.

BIC looks forward to welcoming all the drag racing competitors and teams to the Kingdom of Bahrain and looks forward to providing a new world-class venue for the sport for years to come.

-bic-

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