Firstly, I would like to congratulate the boys at GulfRun for hosting such a fun and exciting event at the Bahrain International Circuit in January. A lot of great cars and a lot of action on all fronts, whether it was on the track, drifting or drag racing. GulfRun 5 was a success for the creators, sponsors and most of all, the drivers and visitors.

I thought it would be cool to give some insight to my readers on what it’s like to ride around the Bahrain circuit with a GulfRun driver. I was lucky to hop on board a Westfield track car with Ahmed Al Mudhaf, one of the founders of the event.

Ahmed is a quiet guy in general, calm and very easy to get along with, but boy is he a tyrant on the track. Our ride was unfortunately brief due to a shortage in fuel, but we managed 3 hot laps in total. Hope I give some justice to Ahmed on the level of skill and concentration needed for this sort of thing.

The pit lane

Ahmed and I head to the Westfield parked a little further ahead from where everyone was sitting. Far from the noise. It was beneficial because this way, he and I could calmly go through all the safety and procedural requirements before heading off; stuff like adjustment of the harness / safety belt, wearing my helmet, etc. Climbing into the Westfield was a bit of a nuisance for me, call it age or just plain being out-of-shape, I had to navigate the roll-cage (bars surrounding the cabin) carefully. As I look to my left, Ahmed smoothly jumps in with no problems (almost like the Dukes of Hazzard)… oh boy, this is going to be interesting.


As soon as we are cleared by the pit marshal and make our way onto the track, Ahmed makes sure that we are clear of oncoming traffic. He then pins the throttle and we’re off. The sequential shifter used in the Westfield provides a thunderous blow every time Ahmed up-shifts, accompanied by my head whipped forward with every gear change. We get to the first bend and this is where I quickly realize that practice sets drivers, like Ahmed, apart from others. He smoothly steers the car into the apex with just the right amount of throttle. A few more turns and then we reach the tricky hairpin corner of the track where many drivers lost control of their cars. At one point the car wanted to whip us into a spiral, but Ahmed managed to counter-steer it at the just the right time to save us from spinning out. Managing to exit the corner with the optimal amount of speed, he then guns it down the pit straight. The sound of the Westfield is wicked. Wickedly horrifying. Wickedly satisfying.

We then come to a left bend where the car was violently trying to lose traction in the rear. A few counter-steers at the wheel with brutal force and the car learns who’s the boss. A few turns later and we’re on the F1 straightaway. With the throttle pinned and approaching the hard-right turn quickly, I begin to think “he’s gonna brake now… uh… ok, now… now?” Suddenly, I’m thrusted forward in my seat with the safety belts holding me in place as he slams on the brakes and tosses the car into the corner. I forgot how late confident drivers brake on tracks. I need to get more practice under my belt!

Thanks for the ride Ahmed and looking forward to GulfRun 6!

Stay tuned! Pun intended.


A Brake Banzeen syndication.