Racing in Bahrain

Episode 338 Part II

November 16, 2020

Race time at Bahrain International Karting Circuit

While a student of mine at Caribou Technology Center, Cole Disy of Caribou became President of the Caribou FFA, the student organization of agriculture education. His work in a leadership role helped the local FFA Agriculture Mechanics Team qualify for the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky in October 2003.

One of my highlights every year was taking FFA members to the National FFA Convention to join with over 50,000 like minded young men and women. When the convention moved to Louisville from Kansas City, my students and I would stay in or near Indianapolis for two or three days to take in the sites of the Racing Capital of the World.

One of my ideas was to visit as many motorsports sites in one day as possible which I named the “Gearhead Tour”. This one day whirlwind of immersion in motorsports in 2003 included Cole Disy, Tim St.Peter, Malcolm St. Peter, and my son Mike Hale. All these FFA members were from Caribou except my son who was from Westmanland.

Caribou FFA on “Gearhead Tour” 2003 at Kelley Racing in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kelley Racing was active from 1998 to 2004 at this Coffman Road shop. Front row left Cole Disy and Tim St. Peter on right. Back row left FFA Advisor Tom Hale (me), Malcolm St. Peter and Mike Hale. (HTF Motorsports photo)

I like to think that I provided a positive motorsports influence for these students as well as many others over the course of several years. On that “Gearhead Tour 2003”, the week ended with a session at a kart track located outside of Indianapolis (I do not recall the track name only that one lap was a mile in length).

Cole Disy went on after graduation from Caribou High School in 2004 to join the United States Navy. After several years in the Navy, Disy went home to help run the family business and became an active reservist.

Cole Disy was featured on the cover TNR (The Naval Reserve) ,magazine Volume 2019 Issue 3. He was taking part in the 2019 Chief Petty Officers Heritage Training aboard the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor. (U.S. Navy/Roger Duncan photo)

Recently while on active duty Disy and friends was able to race at the recently re-opened Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC) which had been shut down due to Covid-19 restrictions. The circuit located next to the Formula 1 track was built in 2011 and was top notch.

BIHC has hosted international kart races held at night, one of the first circuits to host such a type of kart race.

With no frost and little chance of precipitation the .9 mile outdoor track features multiple configurations for club races as well as private rentals.

Cole Disy, Caribou, with several friends suited up and race ready at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit located at Umm Jidar, Bahrain. (Cole Disy photo)

Karts on the grid awaiting the green flag. According to Cole they were in top notch condition. (Cole Disy photo)

Disy described his experience at BIKC saying, “The price was $155 USD for the “grand prix” race using 13HP karts.”

“The grand prix race consisted of 3 sessions. First session, 7 lap qualifying- your best lap out of the 7 is your qualifying time.”

“Once qualifying laps are completed, the racers stack up on the starting line according to their times. Ahem…yours truly got the pole position "</p

“That was the first and last time I would start up front though. Second session, 9 lap race. 3rd session – 11 lap race.”

“Best single lap time of the day was Mr. Ethan Joy, a fellow Mainer, with the time of 1:16.038.”

“Overall it was an exciting experience! Everybody in the group walked away with smiles on their faces.”

“The track is located right next to the F1 track in Bahrain. I tried to get the group a tour of the F1 track but everything is locked up pretty tight due to Covid. The facilities were extra clean and track conditions were top notch.”

“The staff members were knowledgeable, polite and upheld a strict Covid mitigation policy. The only real downside to the day was there were no breaks between sessions. We were on the track non stop for the better part of 1 hr. Halfway through the last race, I considered pulling into the pits as I felt dehydrated. But, I pushed through. After all was said and done I couldn’t help but think about F1 racers and the extreme conditions they put themselves through during their races. Humbling experience to say the least.”

Bahrain International Karting Circuit at night. The track has hosted international kart races in the evening, one of the few kart tracks with the capability to hold such a prestigious race. (BIKC photo)

I asked Cole Disy to keep me informed about any motorsports adventures he may be involved with and he replied, “Absolutely! We were trying to get seats for the F1 races this month but they aren’t selling seats because of Covid. Major bummer! I would love to make it to a race someday!”

Chasing the Checkered teams up to raise funds to battle cancer

Chasing the Checkers, Amy Hinton-Harrop has teamed up with Night Owl Creations and Turn 4 Automotive and Performance for a raffle with this helmet as the prize. Amy said if anyone from the County wins the helmet she will get it to her sister who lives in Presque isle. (Chasing the Checkered photo)

Fellow motorsports journalist, Amy Hinton-Harrop, owner/writer at Chasing the Checkered, has decided to help do something positive during this season of the pandemic. She described her project on Facebook. She still has a few spots open and urges folks to sign up soon due to the limit of 100 entrants.

Amy, “To end out the year, I have partnered with Greg Emerson at Night Owl Creations and Bob Guptill at Turn 4 Automotive & Performance to do a charitable helmet raffle. Yes, I stole the idea from my friends at the Black Flagged Podcast.”

“Greg blew me away with the helmet design (the helmet is a size adult large) and it’s better than I ever could have imagined.”

“Raffle entries will be $10 a piece and 100 entries will be sold. Choose a number 1-100 please and I will notify you if your number has already been chosen.”
“Once 100 raffle entries are sold, I will do a Facebook live drawing and announcing the winning number/helmet winner. Half of the proceeds from the helmet raffle will be donated to the Dean Snell Cancer Foundation and the other half of the proceeds will go towards operational costs for Chasing the Checkered.”
“If you would like an entry, please PayPal me the money at (friends and family payment type ONLY please), venmo me at amylharrop or PM me to meet in person.”


Thank you and good luck! "</p

Kody Swanson returns to Daytona International Speedway

Five-time USAC Silver Crown champion, Kody Swanson, Zionsville, Indiana by way of Kingsburg, California, made a return trip to the 2020 Historic Sports Car Racing (HSR) Classic Presented by IMSA at the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. Swanson teamed up with Brad Jaeger, Detroit, Michigan to race the Doran Racing 2008 Ford GT Mk7 sponsored by Glenn Farms, Woodland, Georgia.

Brad Jaeger on left with Kody Swanson and the Doran Racing Ford GT Mk7 in Gatorade Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway. The team won the GTM class Friday and fourth overall behind the Prototypes in the 24 race. Swanson will be driving Doran Racing’s USAC Silver Crown car in asphalt race events in 2021. (Jordan Swanson photo)

Kody Swanson and family in Victory Circle. Next to Kody is Trevor then Adam, and wife/spotter Jordan. “I had a great time in Daytona with HSR and the Classic 24 Hour. It is such a unique event for me personally, and with it being my first chance to return, it was something I was really looking forward to all year. I felt like I continued to learn about the car and this type of racing, and made every effort to improve each time on the track. ” (Jordan Swanson photo)

Sting Ray Robb summary video

In addition to covering Kody Swanson’s 2021 racing exploits with Doran Racing, UpNorth Motorsports will be covering the journey of Payette, Idaho’s Sting Ray Robb. As he secures a team to race with in the 2021 Indy Lights Series on the Road to Indy, UpNorth Motorsports will be following closely this 19 year-old as he works his way through the system to the NTT IndyCar Series.

Here is a video prepared by Road to Indy with some of Robb’s exploits during the 2020 season in the Road to Indy Pro 2000 Series Presented by Cooper Tires:

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine