The 2018 TCR Middle East International Series will come to an end on Friday and Saturday at the Bahrain International Circuit with its third race meeting, after having visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai in January.
Competitors will race on the 2.55 km Oasis Circuit that was used last year for the TCR Middle East series’ finale when Josh Files won both races at the wheel of the Lap57 Honda Civic and secured the title.
Competitors will hit the track on Friday for a 90-minute Free Practice session, with the 30-minute Qualifying in the evening. The two 60-kilometre races will be run on Saturday evening.
The fight for the Drivers’ title is wide open between Luca Engstler and Giacomo Altoè who are both 17 years old. They are currently split by only 14 points, with 55 still on offer.
The German driver has won two races out of four so far at the wheel of his Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI and finished the other two in second position. His consistency has helped him to jump to the top of the standings with 89 points.
Altoè – the winner of Abu Dhabi’s Race 1 – struggled in Dubai where his Audi RS3 LMS couldn’t’ stay on the pace with 30 kilos of success ballast on board. In Bahrain, Altoè’s car will be ballast-free and the Italian will try to wipe out his 14-point gap from Engstler.
Mathematically speaking, three other drivers are still in contention: Mat’o Homola (25 points behind the leader), Florian Thoma and Kai Jordan (with gaps of 40 and 41 points respectively). However, their chances appear to be purely theoretical.
Thanks to victories for Engstler and Thoma in the Dubai races, the Liqui Moly Team Engstler has built a leading margin of 31 points in the Teams’ classification. However, Pit Lane 1 and Pit Lane 2 - currently 31 and 35 points behind - can still hope to overturn the situation.