Bahrain chief looking forward to tenth F1 anniversary

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The chief of Bahrain International Circuit is looking forward to celebrating the circuit’s tenth grand prix and anniversary since its first race in 2004 with the first night race in the kingdom.

Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa was speaking at Autosport International show in the UK about Formula One in Bahrain, and about some of the challenges that the organizers faced in bringing the sport to the region.

“For us in building the circuit it’s easy to start with a blank piece of paper,” he said. “A lot of the historical tracks in Europe were airfields, so it’s easy for us to say it’s a good facility. But we also had an unusual way of designing it and building it. You still have to work hard and solve your problems and make it work.”

For 2014, the Bahrain Grand Prix will be the second night race on the F1 calendar following in the footsteps of Singapore, which first joined the schedule in 2008.

“2014 will be our first night race, so we have 495 lights being put up,” Al-Khalifa said. “It’s quite exciting, one of the biggest projects since we built the track. We’re very excited. Obviously it’s going to be our tenth race and ten years since 2004, and we’re looking forward to having one of the best races ever.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on 6th April.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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