Manama: Sparks are sure to fly at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) all through the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2021 weekend as a stellar support race programme is set to complement the excitement of top-class F1 action. Lining up on the grid for a chance to showcase their skills to a global F1 audience are competitors in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East. The highly anticipated sporting and social extravaganza takes place at “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” March 26 to 28.
Tickets to the year’s F1 weekend are now available for all vaccinated or COVID-19 recovered individuals. They are being sold at a single discounted price of BD100 across stands for the three-day event. Comprehensive measures will be in place at the circuit at all times to ensure spectators can enjoy the excitement of F1 in a safe environment. Tickets can be purchased online at BIC’s official website, bahraingp.com, or at BIC’s newly opened stand at City Centre Bahrain, located on the ground floor near gate number three in the West Court. The stand is operational every day between 10am and 10pm. F2 is widely accepted to be F1’s leading feeder category, with many of its top drivers graduating to even greater success in the top flight.
The Porsche Sprint Challenge ME, which is based at BIC, offers the region’s home-grown driving talent an opportunity to realise their racing potential while enhancing personal circuit experience. It features the region’s leading drivers, all competing in the powerful and dynamic Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The two series will be on opposite ends of their respective championship campaigns at the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. F2 will be holding the first round of its 2021 season in Bahrain, while the Porsche Sprint Challenge ME will be staging its 2020/2021 season’s third and final round. The F2 drivers and teams are fresh off of pre-season testing at BIC, which was their first and only chance to get a good indication of where their 2021 challengers are ahead of the new campaign, which is set to be different from past years.
From 2021 onwards, each F2 event will comprise three races instead of two. A pair of sprint races will now take place on the Saturday of each weekend and will both consist of 120 kilometres or 45 minutes, whichever comes first. The Feature Race will then take place on Sunday morning ahead of the F1 Grand Prix. It will remain over 170 kilometres or over an hour long, whichever comes first, and will keep a compulsory pitstop, in which all four tyres must be changed. Start grid rules and points allocations have also changed. Meanwhile, the Porsche Sprint Challenge ME is nearing the end of its 11th season and things are about to heat up with the coveted titles on the line.
The first two rounds were also held at BIC, both supporting Bahrain’s F1 double-header last year. Two more races are to be held, each over 17 laps, with the first on the Saturday of this year’s Grand Prix weekend followed by the second on the Sunday. The second sprint will be a memorial race, dedicated to Austrian motorsport legend, the late Walter Lechner, who was a great friend to BIC and the Bahraini motorsport community having established the championship in 2009. Aside from all the racing, attendees will be able to enjoy a wide array of fun activities across BIC’s F1 Village vending area, including a selection of wild outdoor rides and activities. All these attractions and so much more await everyone at BIC this F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2021 weekend. They will surely get the vending area bustling with excitement, all while ensuring that the event proceeds in a safe environment and in line with government health advice. For full eligibility criteria for those wishing to buy tickets to attend the race, or for other information on the highly anticipated event, visit bahraingp.com.