Raed Raffii was the star in the second round of the 2020/2021 BIC 2,000cc Challenge, winning both races held at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) as part of the latest edition of National Race Day.
Raffii captured his maiden victories of the new season and maintained his perfect record of podium appearances so far, having placed third and second, respectively, in the two sprints of round one.
Joining him on the podium in this meeting were former champion Tareq Al Tajer and Nasser Al Alawi in both of the night’s races.
Driving a Honda S2000, Raffii had a sub-par start to the evening’s events, closing out free practice only ninth fastest out of the 11 runners with a best lap of 1 minute 25.146 seconds around BIC’s 2.55-kilometre Inner Track. Fellow-competitor Raed Himmo in a Honda Civic was quickest at 1m 18.385s.
But Raffii immediately upped his pace in qualifying and managed to secure a front row grid position for race one alongside pole-sitter Al Tajer. Raffii had a time of 1m 17.789s, just 0.295s behind Al Tajer, who was behind the wheel of his Ford Focus.
In race one, Raffii enjoyed a strong start, gaining the lead on the very first turn as Al Tajer ran wide. The victor never looked back, while Al Tajer managed to recover after losing two places on the opening lap. Raffii’s winning time was 18m 38.011s, and Al Tajer was 1.180s back as runner-up. Al Alawi, also driving a Honda S2000, came third after securing his place on lap seven. He was 3.314s off Raffii’s winning pace.
All three overall podium placers were also the top finishers in the 2,000cc’s Pro class.
In the Novice category, Majed Himmo in a Honda Civic took the win, followed by Martyna Al Qassab (Acura DC5) and Giovanni Salerno (Ford Focus). Wiebke Buelow (Honda Civic), Andreas Buelow (Honda Civic) and Ali Toblani (Mini Cooper) completed the final classification, while Raed Himmo did not finish.
Raffii added to his race one triumph by clocking the fastest lap of 1m 17.917s.
In race two, Al Qassab was on pole while Raffii started from fifth, and he wasted no time in battling for the lead. Raffii moved up to second at the end of the opening lap before taking over as leader on lap two. He did well to hold on to his advantage the rest of the way, and took the chequered flag in 18m 52.124s.
Al Tajer followed in 1.072s while Al Alawi was 10.850s behind.
Majed Himmo secured a Novice class double, while Salerno and Al Qassab traded finishing places behind him. Wiebke Buelow, Toblani, and Raed Himmo completed the race two classification, while Andreas Buelow did not finish.
Al Tajer registered the fastest lap of 1m 17.774s.
Following each race, the top three from both classes received their respective trophies.
National Race Day was organised by BIC in cooperation with the Bahrain Motor Federation and Circuit Racing Club.
This season’s BIC 2,000cc Challenge is set to include seven meetings, culminating in April next year. Round three is scheduled to be held from November 12 to 14, as part of the support programme of the FIA WEC 8 Hours of Bahrain.
For more information, visit bahraingp.com.