All photos by Chantelle D’mello
Over a dozen cars and 40 motorbikes tore up a Qatar race track yesterday in preparation for the third round of the Qatar Challenge Championship to be held today, Jan. 17, at the Losail International Circuit.
The event, an entry-level racing championship that allows amateur and rookie racing enthusiasts to compete at a national level, spans eight months, with seven races held intermittently from October to May.
Now in its fifth year, the series boasts a tight-knit community of international riders united by a shared passion, organizers said.
Both men and women are invited to participate, they added.
Speaking to Doha News, Mark Holroyd, a 30-year-old British national, who has participated in the series since last January, explained how this race, subsidized in large part by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and Toyo Tires, helps offer budding racers a platform:
“It’s been my passion since I was young. I used to race go-karts in the UK, and stay up watching Formula 1 with my dad. So when I found out about this race, I went for it…
It’s one of the only races in the region that doesn’t cost a large sum of money to participate in. I bought my car in Dubai, but with the modifications and everything, it cost around QR45,000. In the UK, if I wanted to race, I would have to put up at least QR600,000 to do the same.”
Sponsored by local telecommunications giant Ooredoo, Holroyd has placed first in every race this season, and hopes to continue his winning streak today.
All are invited to watch the races, which are free and open to the public. Motorbike riders begin their warm ups around 10:30am, and the last car race will be held this afternoon 3:50pm. A detailed list of the day’s schedule can be found here.
During each race, drivers and riders are expected to complete ten laps of 5.3km circuit, with speeds reaching some 300 km/hr on the track.
The first, second, and third place winners of today’s races will receive cash prizes of QR3,000, QR2,000 and QR1,000 respectively, and championship winners will receive QR30,000, QR20,000 and QR10,000.
Do you plan to go? Thoughts?