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Halls makes a clean sweep.

FORMER UK Formula Ford champion Gavin "The Flying Farrier" Halls once again put on a fine display of motor racing talent, recording a clean sweep of round 13's races in the Castrol Edge-sponsored Bahrain National Karting Championship, held at Bahrain International Circuit's Kart Zone in Sakhir.

Meanwhile, young South African ace Wesley Carr steered himself back into contention for this year's seniors title and the much sought-after Formula BMW Asia test drive with Team Qi-Meritus.

After a dusty start to the evening, organised by Karting4me, many of the drivers opted to run on scrubbed tyres, yet it was Halls in the Forge Racer on new rubber that stormed to pole. The Bahraini duo of Yahya Hassan Ali and Ali Atiyah completed the top three.

Heat one saw all 18 drivers through the newly shaped top section of the one-kilometre karting circuit, and entering turn five it was Halls with a six-kart gap pulling away from Atiyah and Ali.

Joining the top three in his KEMA Kart was Lee "Rikky Bobby'' Stones, who powered through at turn seven and looked like breaking away to join Halls, until an incident while attempting to pass Atiyah through the last turn caused him to collide with the barrier.

With fuel leaking onto the circuit, the red flag was shown warning all drivers to slow down and return to the final safe position prior to the start line.

After the restart, it was Halls, Atiyah and Ali who took the honours with Omar Farid of Egypt, Adam Salem of Bahrain and Christian Yarwood of Great Britain in the top junior places.

Heat two started without Stones, and once again it was Atiyah in his Castrol-sponsored Intrepid Racer who responded to Halls. For several laps, both karts looked as one, until on lap six when Ali joined the leaders. With the trio in place, it was looking like a very dismal evening for championship leader Abbas Sarhan of Bahrain in fourth.

The heat finished Halls, Atiyah and Peter Turney, with Sarhan in fourth dropping vital championship points. The juniors were led in by Salem, Yarwood and Alex Harrison, with Farid already in the pits for a black flag offence.

The 15 lap pre-final lined up with Halls and Atiyah making up the front row. On lap two exiting the third turn, it was Tariq Al Mahal in the Wurth Racing Kart leading the pack with a three-second advantage.

Sarhan and Turney had made up eight places and were battling hard to pass each other whilst also trying to close up on Mahal, who was leading his first senior race. Halls and Atiyah were both at the end of an 18-kart snake after an incident between turns one and four.

But both drivers started to reel in the other karts one by one, and Halls not only cleared the other drivers but totally blew away the leaders by taking the win.

Sarhan and Turney were second and third, respectively, with Atiyah fourth and Mahal sixth. The juniors finished Farid, Salem and Harrison.

With the drivers setting out on the formation lap for the final, Ali had a fuel leak exiting the pit and despite all attempts to rectify it, he was lifted off the circuit and would take no further part.

The final finished Halls, Atiyah and Turney, with the junior final won with ease by defending champion Farid. Salem was second and Yarwood third.

Drive of the night went to Philip Lorbschat of Germany. Guest driver was Mike Aurora of the XXXL Racing Team.

Later, kart 23 driven by Turney was found to be underweight and disqualified. Kart 13 driven by Sarhan and sponsored by DHL International was promoted to third. Trophies were presented by Castrol official Ian Yarwood and Karting4Me general manager Sean Murphy.

The Championship is being held under the patronage of Karting4Me owner Shaikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Round 14 will take place at Kart Zone on Thursday from 6.30pm onwards. Spectators are welcome and entrance is free for all.

Points standings (top six)

Seniors: 1 Abbas Sarhan (BRN) 1,060pts; 2 Yahya Hassan Ali (BRN) 956pts; 3 Wesley Carr (RSA) 899pts; 4 Tariq Al Mahal (BRN) 895pts; 5 Lee Stones (UK) 819; 6 Gavin Halls (UK) 750.

Juniors: 1 Omar Farid (EGY) 1,171pts; 2 Alex Harrison (UK) 908pts; 3 Christian Yarwood (UK) 855pts; 4 Adam Salem (BRN) 766; 5 Richard Eyles (UK) 433pts; 6 Philip Lorbschat (GER) 79pts.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Apr 11, 2010
Words:754
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