Fans of motorsports can broadly be divided into two categories: those who are happiest cheering their heroes on from the sidelines, and those who dream of getting behind the wheel. Fortunately, Bahrain caters for both.
Since it became the first country in the Middle East to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix with the inaugural Gulf Air F1 Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004, thousands of fans have flocked to Bahrain to witness racing greats such as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso tear around the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). However, although the Formula 1 Grand Prix is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the motorsports calendar, the BIC has plenty of attractions and events on offer all year round for those with a need for speed.
One of the most popular activities on offer at the circuit is the BIC Track Xperience, which allows you to power around the track in a world-class road car chosen from an impressive fleet that includes a Caterham G7, 210bhp Genesis and a Mitsubishi Evolution X. After being driven by a fully qualified instructor, you’ll get behind the wheel for a few exhilarating laps of your own.
If you’re nervous about hitting those thrilling speeds solo, the BIC Dragster Xperience is a great opportunity to enjoy some high-octane fun where you get to be a passenger in a Top Fuel Dragster – the fastest car in the sport of drag racing – reaching speeds of up to 260kmph, and experiencing G-Forces of up to 2Gs.
For F1 junkies who aren’t necessarily looking to get behind the wheel, a great option is to take part in the behind-the-scenes circuit tour of BIC, which takes in the landmark eight-storey Sakhir Tower, media centre, race control tower and even the Formula 1 circuit, depending on availability. It’s advisable to book ahead to avoid disappointment. Finally, for something a little bit different to the usual track day, consider the BIC’s 4x4 Xperience, which involves getting behind the wheel of a Land Rover LR4 and pitting your wits and off-roading skills against a world-renowned 5.3km off-road course – great practice for the popular UAE activity of dune bashing.
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