Tight finishes highlight thrilling fifth round in Rotax Challenge at BIKC

Wednesday, Feb 12th 2020, 11:56 am | Category: Karting

Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC) hosted a thrilling fifth round of the 2019/2020 Bahrain Rotax Mojo Max Challenge (BRMMC), with three of the five competition classes being decided by less than a second.

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s leading Rotax kart owners put on an exciting show along BIKC’s 1.414-kilometre Commission Internationale de Karting track.

Fred Clark, Harry Hannam and Gracie Rose Grantham were all on the winning end of the series of tight finishes in their respective BRMMC categories.



Fahad Alkhaled and Lewis Smith were the meeting’s other winners, taking their races in more comfortable fashion.

Fred Clark won the Senior Max Masters class after a tense battle with Osama Azzouka. In the beginning, it was Azzouka on pole and he also enjoyed a slim advantage for much of their 15-lap final. But on the very last lap, Azzouka conceded first place to Clark, who went on to claim the chequered flag in a total race time of 14 minutes 16.075 seconds, just 0.621 seconds ahead of Azzouka. Roberto Giannotti came third 6.676s adrift.

Harry Hannam was the winner in the Mini Max class. He had a brilliant start in the nine-lap final, going from fifth on the grid to second on the very first lap. He then took the lead on lap three and stayed in front the rest of the way to win in 9:01.853. It wasn’t a clear drive to the finish, however, as Harry had to stave off the challenge of pole-sitter Luca Kane Houghton. Only 0.066s separated the pair in the end, making for the closest finish of the round. Tye Mejia came away with the final podium step 5.145s behind.



In the Micro Max category, Gracie Rose Grantham emerged victorious, but not without a hard fight with Khalid Alnajjar. The talented young pair were engaged in a see-saw battle over the last five laps of their nine-lap final. Gracie Rose was able to do enough to secure the chequered flag in 9:36.282, while Khalid was the runner-up just 0.346s behind. Rashid Alkhalifa completed the podium 4.992s back.

Fahad Alkhaled triumphed in the Senior Max category. Alkhaled started from second on the grid and dropped to third on lap two, but was able to regain his place before taking over in front on lap eight after pole-sitter and early race leader Najashi Rashdan was forced to retire. Alkhaled raced to the win in 13:56.320. Rashed Almuammari came second 1.505s behind, while Mohammed Mattar was third 3.639s from first place.

In the Junior Max class, winner Lewis Smith gained the lead on lap two after starting from second place on the grid. He never looked back from there, cruising to a strong finish in the 15-lap final in 13:57.806. Lewis was 6.423s ahead of runner-up Abdullah Aldossery, while Fahad Almuqla came third 16.285s off the pace.



At the end of all the racing, the winners were presented their respective trophies in the podium ceremony.

Following the meeting’s results, topping their respective championship standings are Alkhaled, Azzouka, Lewis, Shanthosh Kumar in the Mini Max class, and Gracie Rose.

Only two rounds remain in the BRMMC, which is being held under the umbrella of the Bahrain Karting Sprint Championship. The sixth and penultimate meeting is scheduled for March 7, while the season finale is set for April 4. 

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