Grand-Am eyeing a race in Bahrain?

East met West on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway, when Shaikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the chief executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, met with GRAND-AM Road Racing Founder and NASCAR Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France during a tour of the facility.

Shaikh Salman was in Florida to attend the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Orlando. He participated in an industry day trip to Daytona for PRI delegates arranged by GRAND-AM, Daytona International Speedway and the Motorsports Industry Association.

“I am honored to be here, and this is a great opportunity," said Shaikh Salman, who is hoping to return for the 2013 Rolex 24. “After seeing photos of the original track, I was very impressed with how smooth it is after the repaving. The infield is fantastic – it’s challenging and very quick. I really enjoy hearing about all of the history here. It’s incredible how they came from racing on the beach to build this facility, creating such a legacy."

Shaikh Salman has been involved with the Bahrain circuit since its creation, and worked behind the scenes in an advisory role for governmental issues, community involvement and public interest prior to the first Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004. He then took his first official role at the circuit as head of government affairs and public relations, and was promoted to the circuit’s chief operating officer in 2008.

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