Bahrain aims for record F1 race
Manama, February 18, 2013
Bahrain is hoping for a near-record turnout at this year's Formula One Grand Prix in April despite continued unrest in the kingdom.
The 2011 race was cancelled after a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests but last year's went ahead despite international pressure on the sport not to go and concerns for the safety of teams and personnel.
Organisers said in a statement on Monday that they had started their official 60-day countdown to the April 19 - 20 - 21 race at the Sakhir circuit under the slogan "Imagine Your Moment".
"There is always a special moment or two for whoever attends the Bahrain Grand Prix, be it on the track or off of it, and we would like all the fans to 'Imagine Your Moment' and feel the excitement of our upcoming Grand Prix," declared Bahrain International Circuit chief executive Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Last year's grand prix took place under the slogan 'UniF1ed - one nation in celebration".
The Bahrain International Circuit said last year's race attracted "up to 70,000 people" and they expected to exceed that due to the growing popularity of the sport in the Middle East.
"BIC hopes to come close to matching its biggest-ever turnout to the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend of 100,000 fans in 2010," the statement said.
The Grand Prix will be the fourth round of the 19-race championship and is the biggest sporting event hosted by the kingdom. Gulf Air, Bahrain's national carrier will again be the title sponsor of the event.
Gulf Air’s acting chief executive officer Maher Salman Al Musallam said: “This will be Gulf Air’s eighth year as the official title sponsor of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Since its beginning in 2004, the race has become one of the region’s most prestigious sporting events. The 2013 Formula1 Bahrain Gulf Air Grand Prix is expected to draw thousands of fans from across the Middle East and the international community allowing the Kingdom to reap the associated economic benefits. The Gulf Air- F1 sponsorship agreement has also paid great dividends in firmly establishing the Kingdom of Bahrain on the global map as the ‘Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”, as well as raising the airline’s image as the sports ambassador of the country.”
An action-packed programme of international support races has been lined up by BIC, including once again the highly popular single-seater championship: the GP2 Series. GP2 is widely accepted to be the chief feeder category to Formula 1.
GP2 will be holding its second round of the 2013 season in Bahrain. Other support races will be announced soon, official said.
Race-goers will be able to enjoy the very best of top-class entertainment, ranging from musical performances, stage shows and mesmerising acts to carnival rides, parlour games and dazzling exhibitions, they said.
BIC has signed entertainers from all over the world to be at the Grand Prix, including countries such as France, Kenya, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, China and India, to name a few.
One of the main features of the Formula 1 Village will be the children’s entertainment area. There will once again be a large tent solely allocated for the kids’s enjoyment, and this plus so much more will be available on all three days of the race.
Tickets can be purchased for all three days of the race weekend or for Race Day alone.
A Friday roaming ticket can also be purchased for those looking to experience all the vantage points of the track, while tickets can also be bought for the Gulf Air Club lounge where you can watch the race in a luxury tent. - Reuters and TradeArabia News Service