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Double triumph for Salahuddin
May 13, 2006

Salah Salahuddin driving for Intercol completed a double success when he won the 16th and final race of the Euromotors-sponsored Mini Cooper Challenge series and followed it up with a win in the Bapco Caterham Challenge at the two-day National Race Championship, which concluded yesterday at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.

Salahuddin who had finished second in the first of the two races, completed 15 laps of the circuit clocking in at 24 minutes 11.883 seconds, with a top speed of 101.869 km/ph and a best lap time of 1:30.123.

Ali Al Kobaisi (24:17.604) of the Castrol team came in second almost six seconds behind with a top speed of 101.124 km/ph.

The already crowned overall winner of the series, Unstoppabulls driver Talal Al Ghaith (24:20.184) finished third but still had the consolation of a podium finish to round off a successful series.

The minor placings went to Fawaz Al Gosaibi (24:21.720) fourth, Stephen Kelog (24:22.041) fifth, Bassim Al Alawi (24:31.860) sixth, Michael Spahn (24:32.408) seventh and Gilles Duthil who failed to finish.

Earlier in qualifying, Salahuddin had made all the running and finished in pole position with a best lap time of 1:29.328, followed by Al Ghaith (1:30.120) and Kelog (1:30.331.

Salahuddin was equally impressive in the Bapco Caterham Challenge winning race two after completing the 15 laps in 19 minutes 35.691 seconds with a top speed of 119.479 km/ph and lap time of one minute 16.840 seconds.

Clinching second place was race one winner Faisal Raffii (19:35.692), finishing less than a thousandth of a second behind, despite recording the top speed (119.971) and best lap time (1:16.525) of the eight drivers in the fray.

Fahad Al Musalam (19:36.077) was also in the thick of the action not far behind the top two but establishing a lead of almost five seconds over fourth-placed Komail Abu Drees (19:40.404).

During qualifying, Al Musalam had the best lap time (1:16.761) followed by Salahuddin (1:17.297) in second and Abu Drees (1:17.310) third.

In the Formula BMW series, Christophe Hissette in group A and Khalid Al Faisal in group B repeated race one victories, by repeating the feat in race two.

Hissette, clocked 14 minutes 21.200 seconds with a top speed of 129.388 and a best lap time (1:10.955) over 12 laps, followed in second place by Talal Al Ghaith (14.21.611) and the top speed of 129.595 km/ph from among the eight drivers in the fray with Bander Aleyas (14:28.851) third.

Al Faisal completed his double finishing the 12 laps in 14:41.855 with a top speed of 127.112 km/ph, with Mohammed Al Salmei (14:42.634) and a top speed of 128.413 km/ph from among the eight drivers second and Mohammed Al Ali (1:48381) third.

In the opening races of the National Race Championship, Mehdat Sheikh El Ard completed the double winning the first race in style clocking two minutes 27.868 seconds with a top speed of 126.867 km/ph, finishing more than eight seconds ahead of Paul Kennedy (2:36.303) and Salman Al Khalifa (2:37.660). Fawaz Al Gosaibi (2:41.710) was fourth and Mishaal Al Sudairy (2:42.487) fifth.

The second race was also dominated by El Ard winning in 2:30.646 with a top speed of 125.138 km/ph, almost six seconds ahead of second-placed Salman Al Khalifa (2:36.567). Kennedy (2:36.643) was third, Al Sudairy (2:41.206) fourth and Al Gosaibi (2:41.500) fifth.

The National Race Series is the first of its kind in the Middle East, bringing together the best drivers to battle it out at the BIC over seven two-day weekends during the year.

The next round of racing is scheduled for June 1 and 2 and then takes a break in the summer before resuming in September.

If you want to get behind the wheel of one of these machines, contact Motorsport Middle East sales team by email at info@motorsportme.com or by telephone on +973 3661 7617.


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