Unlike the real F1 field, the F179 field visited Bahrain this year and the second race of the season produced another thriller. While tyre wear was still a factor, the big talking point this week was just how bumpy the track was. At places it felt like the car was running over a washboard and as such finding the limit of the car was made tougher.
This was also the first time the weight penalties came into play and the effect was instantly noticeable. Rouke and Grant both struggled to get onto front row pace while John Wallace seemed slightly less effected qualifying better than the previous race. On pole was series returnee Pablo Flores from Ronny Nunez and Jos Swarthoff.
Best off the line when the the lights went green was Larry, getting an absolute blinder he was up several places as the field streaked towards T1. Unfortunately Larry failed to brake early enough for the corner, gave Robert Jones' T4 Ferrari and hefty thump sending him spearing across the track into the similar Ferrari of Ray Riddall and then on into Fulvio. By some miracle Katier Scott, despite actually nudging Ray at the time, escaped without a scratch and was up to 18th.
Meanwhile Pablo had made a great start from Ronny and was already building a solid lead while Jos held onto third. Championship leader Grant Riddall, meanwhile, was in 10th with Rouke in 12th both facing a race long battle for valuable championship points.
Rookie, Peter Ptuniqu, provided further lap 1 drama, spinning in a tricky right hander and getting collected by two Ferrari's who were unable to avoid him. Interestingly one of those Ferrari's, driven by Salvatore Tallini, was running the 'long beach' high downforce configuration while the other, Katier's car, was running what appeared to by much less wing.
Big climbers at the end of the first lap included Katier, Eric and Rick Stratton, while John Wallace also made great Lap 1 progress leaping to 5th from 9th on the grid.
The next two laps were incident packed, while positions changing all down the field. Grant Riddall surged 5 places in just two laps to 6th, getting embroiled in a battle with Ralph and Nigel while Bret slipped several places the other way. Major changes were further down the field as two bat laps put Costa nearly last and a collision between Rick and Katier put the latter in the wall and into the pits for repairs.
The field started to settle now, Pablo was leading comfortably ahead of Ronny and Jaka, who had past Ronny on Lap one. Ronny retook the place on lap seven while further down the field the most dramatic progress was being made by David Pym.
Pym had had a seperate off at the same place as Ptuniqu, dropped well down the field and was now making rapid progress through the back of the field. Rassif Tayan, another rookie, was making good progress too and as the pitstops aproached was up to 10th in another T4 Ferrari.
Strangely, for a track which probably wasn't the best suited to the Ferrari, there was a huge number of T4's in evidence. Rassif Tayan, Salvatore Tallini, Stephen Jones and Ray Riddall all drove the brutal Italian car alongisde T4 regular Katier Scott.
First to pit was Grant, clearly on a 2 stopper, he pitted on lap 12, a good 4 laps before most people were expected to pit. By the time the stops had finished, on lap 18, he found himself down in 8th with a stop to go and a struggle ahead of him for a good finish.
Defending champion, Rouke, had got as high as 7th before his stop and now ran in 11th as the pitstops mixed things up.
Two drivers stopped on lap 22, Grant Riddall dropping down the order to 15th and would soon but in the unfamiliar position of being lapped, while Ronny dropped to 5th with his stop, losing the chance of a podium finish.
The main battle now was around the 10th place as Rouke, Bret, Tallini and Ralph Maiph suddenly found themselves all wanting the same places and produced some excellent racing swapping places several times as the laps wound down.
Pablo realed off the remaining laps for an impressive win while Jos and Jaka joined him on the podium after impressive drives but driver of the day, probably Corrado Toxiri, who was forced to do a pitlane start after technical problems and gained an effective 13 places to 16th overall.