Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix countdown begins
Manama, February 5, 2014
The countdown to this year's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix officially got underway yesterday (February 4).
In 60 days' time, the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) at Sakhir will play host to its first-ever night race - 10 years to the day since the first championship race was held in Bahrain, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said the switch to racing under floodlights was a fitting way to mark the anniversary of the Bahrain Formula One, which will be held from April 4 to 6.
"The night race will bring an all-new element to an already brilliant racing schedule," he said. "This is the biggest development we have undertaken since building the track in 2004. It is going to be a wonderful event, our preparations are going as scheduled and we are excited to be celebrating this landmark occasion."
He was speaking at a press conference at BIC last night, adding that tickets have been selling well ahead of the event with almost double the number sold compared with the same time last year.
"With tickets already selling quickly, I would certainly recommend booking as early as possible for what will be a spectacular 10th anniversary celebration," he said.
In preparation for the 57-lap floodlit race, 495 lighting poles carrying more than 4,000 light bulbs have been permanently installed at the BIC to provide the lighting levels needed for high-definition television broadcast.
An extra-special line-up of family friendly entertainment has also been put together for the race weekend, including three concerts by top international artists to be announced in the coming weeks.
The on-site F1 Village is set to feature activities for children, young and old, with carnival games, face painting stations, a "fantasy island" themed tent and exciting thrill rides.
Plus, for the first time, some of the activities will cater to children as young as two years old.
"Each year, BIC makes a point of having a wide array of top class entertainment that can be enjoyed by all ages," said Shaikh Salman.
"This year is no different, and with our race taking place at night we expect the atmosphere around the circuit to be one of a kind."
Back on the race track, motorsport fans will also be able to enjoy action from Formula One's chief feeder series, the GP2 and racing from the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, which was born and bred at the BIC.
Prices for a three-day ticket range from BD60 ($158), for entry to the University or Victory grandstands, to BD150 for the Main Grandstand.
Discounts are available for children, students and senior citizens. - TradeArabia News Service