THE Nawaf Al Malood Racing team has emerged triumphant from a hotly-contested endurance race at Bahrain International Circuit's (BIC) VIVA Karting Track. Spearheaded by top Bahraini racing driver Raed Raffii, the Al Malood contingent saw off the challenge of 11 other participating teams in this first-of-its-kind event.
Alongside Rafii, Khalid Al Saei and Subah Al Malood also took turns in driving the team kart around the track's 1.176-km Club circuit for a combined total of 109 laps, recording a winning time of 2h 01m 59.919s in the process.
"This is a great victory for our team," exclaimed Raffii after the race.
"Honestly, we never expected to finish first; Khalid has had little experience in endurance racing in the past, while it was Subah's first time in this kind of event.
"But we did everything right, we made no mistakes and we were not handed any penalties. Our strategy was perfect for the race.
"The others could have beaten us but they made some mistakes, so we're glad that everything turned out well and we've come out on top."
Four other squads teams managed to finish the challenge with a 109-lap total, but they trailed the victors significantly on the final time sheet.
Gulf Cable B took runners-up spot some 38.287s off the winning time, while Team Has Been claimed the final podium place, almost seven seconds further back.
BRM were 1m 39.712s down on the winners in finishing fourth, with Delta Racing classified fifth a further six seconds back.
BRM had started the race in pole position after a qualifying lap-time of 1m 03.986s but it was the victorious Nawaf Al Malood Racing team, which started second, that claimed the fastest lap honour during the race, as they clocked a time of 1m 03.804s.
Following the race, BIC and VIVA Karting Track officials presented the winners their respective awards.
The event was the first of six endurance karting races that are scheduled to be held over the next several months at VIVA Karting Track and will be followed by a second two-hour challenge on June 25.
Back-to-back six-hour events are then slated for July 30 and August 13, with two mega events, in the form of a 12-hour race on October 12 and 13, and then a 24-hour event on November 16 and 17.
Results in each of the six meetings will count towards the international leisure karting ranking, the Sodi W Series, with the best drivers and teams from all Sodi W Series events worldwide then having the opportunity to qualify for the Sodi W Series end-of-season Grand Final.
In addition, drivers competing in the 12-hour and 24-hour events at BIC will also have their results count for the Bahrain Karting Endurance Championship's 2012/2013 season.
Racing in all six events will be held either on the track's 1.414-kilometre CIK Circuit or 1.176-kilometre Club Circuit, which are both homologated by the Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK) of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
The races are open to interested teams composed of drivers aged 15 and above but those under 18 must have completed parental authorisation forms in order to take part.
Each team must comprise a minimum of two drivers and a maximum of four for the two-hour events, while for six-hour races, a team must have a minimum of three drivers and a maximum of six.
The 12-hour and 24-hour races require a team of at least four drivers and a maximum of 10. Each team will be provided with a Sodikart RX7/270cc for each race, with no additional technical modifications permitted.
The cost to compete in all six rounds is BD3,280 per squad but teams may also enter individual meetings at a cost of BD190 for the two-hour races, BD460 per six-hour event, BD850 for the six-hour race and BD1,600 for the 24-hour challenge.
Registration can be completed online at www.vivakartingtrackv.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details are available by calling 17451745 or contacting email@example.com.
1. Nawaf Al Malood Racing (Completed:109 laps, total time: 2:01:59.919); 2. Gulf Cable B (109 laps, 2:02:38.206); 3. Team Has Been (109 laps, 2:02:44.928); 4. BRM (109 laps, 2:03:39.631); 5. Delta Racing Falcons (109 laps, 2:03:46.103); 6. MKT (108 laps, 2:02:16.129); 7. Kuzbar Racing Team (107 laps, 2:02:03.416); 8. GET (107 laps, 2:02:04.004); 9. Gulf Cable A (107 laps, 2:02:41.436); 10. FOGS (106 laps, 2:03:06.192); 11. Porsche Club Bahrain (101 laps, 2:02:02.874).