Bahrain Grand Prix Restored Amid More Protests

Posted June 3rd, 2011 at 10:40 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Amid new unrest, auto racing's world governing body, FIA, has agreed to reschedule the Bahrain Grand Prix that was called off in March after anti-government protests.

The Bahrain event was to have been the opening race of the season. FIA officials, meeting in Barcelona, announced Friday that it will now be run October 30.

That date was to have been the Indian Grand Prix, which has now been moved to early December.

Bahrain International Circuit chief Zayed Alzayani thanked FIA, adding that, while his country has faced a difficult time, “stability has returned.”

However, his remarks came as witnesses said Bahraini security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at anti-government protesters who rallied Friday in the capital, Manama.

The incident took place two days after the government lifted the state of emergency imposed during a March crackdown on protests.

The demonstrations have been led by Bahrain's Shi'ite majority, which is demanding reforms from the kingdom's Sunni rulers.

The annual Formula One race has been Bahrain's most profitable international event since 2004 when the island nation became the first Arab country to stage a Grand Prix.