BIC lines up jam-packed 2022/2023 calendar with unlimited thrills on and off the track
Manama, Sept. 27 (BNA): Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”, announced today details what is expected to be the most active and ambitious season the circuit has ever had in its 19-year history. The 2022/2023 campaign is set to be headlined by new world championship-level racing joining BIC’s established racing calendar, new retail products to complement the existing customer favourites, new partners joining BIC to sit alongside its loyal group of circuit and event sponsors, as well as a few new surprises. The highly anticipated launch of the BIC calendar took place at a Press conference held this evening in Sakhir, attended by BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Mark Thomas, Group Chief Executive of nogaholding, BIC Chief Commercial Officer Sherif Al Mahdy, BIC Chief Operating Officer Fayez Ramzy Fayez, and other officials, guests and members of the media. “A fantastic season of racing and entertainment is upon us and we are proud to have put together a jam-packed schedule of the world’s biggest racing championships along with the best that the region and Bahrain have to offer, together with some incredible off-track events,” Shaikh Salman said. “The strength and breadth of our calendar is a testament to the fantastic experience we offer our guests every time we welcome them to the Kingdom and we are proud that BIC continues to grow as one of the most sought-after venues in global sports and entertainment. “There is something for everybody all year round at BIC and we look forward to welcoming you all for a memorable experience, be it on the race track or off it.” International events Bahrain features prominently on the global motorsport stage with no less than four major international championships set to be held across BIC’s 2022/2023 season. The blue riband event is once again the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, which is set to take place 3 to 5 March as the opening round of the 2023 season. Next year’s F1 calendar features a record 24 races, and BIC is once again in pole position, hosting the first round for the third straight year and the fifth time overall. BIC also announced today that F1 pre-season testing will be returning to Sakhir the week before the race. Taking place 23 to 25 February, the three-day sessions will be the last opportunity for the teams to get ready for the brand-new season. Following Bahrain’s 2022 grand prix which brought record crowds back to BIC at levels never seen before—particularly from the international fans which grew over 50% compared to 2019—the circuit is keen to continue that momentum. BIC has been working together with the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) and national carrier Gulf Air to attract more international fans to attend the Kingdom’s massive celebration of the best in global motorsport and incredible entertainment. There will be a variety of travel packages available to fans, while ticket sales will be launched very soon. Another major international race weekend on the BIC calendar is the Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain this 11 and 12 November. It will be the season-ending meeting of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and it will be the culmination of the series’ landmark 10th anniversary season. Also taking place during the Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain weekend will be the WTCR Race of Bahrain, part of the 2022 WTCR-FIA World Touring Car Cup. The WTCR will not be the only new championship taking the Sakhir track by storm. BIC will also be hosting for the first time the Bahrain ProAm 1000, set to be held on 27 and 28 January of next year. The event is a ground-breaking GT endurance race that will feature a high-quality field of GT3, GT4 and Cup cars from around the world doing battle over 1,000km. Regional and national championships The very best motor racing series in the Middle East and in the Kingdom of Bahrain will once again be hitting the tarmac along BIC’s various racing facilities. The Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East, the region’s premier one-make series based in Sakhir, will be staging a number of rounds in Bahrain. Meanwhile, BIC will be welcoming the Middle East TCR Series, the only championship in the Gulf dedicated exclusively to TCR cars. BIC will be hosting the third round of the relaunched championship’s ongoing season as part of the Bahrain ProAm 1000 weekend on January 27 - 28. The national racing calendar will be headlined by the hugely popular Bahrain Drag Racing Championship, which features many top teams and drivers from around the world including NHRA Champions Bahrain1Racing. The season is set to feature five rounds of head-to-head battles starting in December and continuing until February of 2023. The BIC 2,000cc Challenge will also be a top draw amongst circuit racing enthusiasts, with many of the Kingdom’s best gentleman drivers suiting up for heated bumper-to-bumper competition in their two-litre challengers. This 2,000cc campaign will have five rounds, kicking off in October and then wrapping up in April of next year. BIC’s world-class grassroots racing facility, Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC), will also be hosting plenty of action this season. The 1.414-kilometre CIK-FIA track will be the stage for the Sakhir Rotax MAX Challenge (SRMC) and the Bahrain Rotax MAX Challenge (BRMC)—the Kingdom’s two highly competitive karting championships featuring competitors racing in their very own Rotax-powered karts. The SRMC will have four rounds taking place in September and October, while the BRMC will feature eight meetings to be held from November to March of 2023. Local championships will also be taking place at BIC in autocross and drifting. Retail calendar offerings and new partners The BIC calendar would not be complete without the wide-range of motorsport activities on offer to the public. These include Open Track days and nights, the Ebrahim K. Kanoo Drag and Drift Nights, the Track Experience featuring the BNI Clio Cup Experiences and Radical Experiences, the Kanoo Motors Rolling Drag, the YK Off-Road Experience, and the Batelco Fitness on Track. BIC also is pleased to welcome BNI as the title sponsor of its Clio Cup Experiences, part of the Track Experience offering. The BNI Clio Cup Driving Experience is perhaps the most popular way that racing fans can kick start their careers on track. All these activities are available on select dates each month from October all the way to April of next year. Visit bahraingp.com or call the BIC Hotline on +973-17450000 for the dates or to make a booking. BIKC is also open to the public daily for arrive-and-drive sessions. The karting track also offers private practice time for competitive karters and many other activities such as the F1-inspired Mini Grand Prix.