Ecclestone keen to extend Bahrain race deal

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Bernie Ecclestone says he’s eager to extend Bahrain’s contract to hold a round of the world championship despite continuing controversy over the race.

The grand prix was the focus of protests for the second year in a row following its reinstatement onto the calendar.

Bahrain was cut from the calendar in 2011 after pro-democracy protests were brutally suppressed by the government, leading to a state of emergency being declared.

“I feel they do a super job and we’re more than happy to give them a new contract for five years,” Ecclestone told Reuters.

The Bahrain race organizers have expressed an interest in holding the first race of the season as they did in 2006 and 2010. The race was supposed to be the season-opener in 2011 before it was postponed and eventually cancelled due to the unrest.

Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed Alzayani said a date change was “on the table”.

“For us, we’re ready any day of the year, but we will have to see how it fits with logistics, other dates, other countries hosting and if there are conflicts with any other events they may have,” he continued, adding that an extension on their current contract could be signed later this year. Bahrain’s current contract expires in 2016.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup