MRF Challenge: Falchero overtakes van Kalmthout to take maiden win in Bahrain
It was a feisty start between the two front-row starters Rinus van Kalmthout and Julien Falchero, with the pole-sitter van Kalmthout just managing to keep his lead.
Behind, Felipe Drugovich stayed third with Alex Karkosik moving to fourth, after Presley Martono lost a couple of places off the line to sit behind Manuel Maldonado.
The safety car came out after a crash between Henning Enqvist and Dylan Young, with the Swede rolling over at the side of the run-off - when his car made a slight contact with Young's in Turn 1.
Once the race re-started, Falchero made the move on van Kalmthout, who was caught unaware in Turn 1 to take the lead of the race, with Drugovich also having a look-in.
Before the race could settle, there was another crash between Michalengelo Amendola and Harri Jones, which resulted in the Belgian retiring with the Australian managing to continue at the back.
Before the safety car was pulled out to clear Amendola's car, Martono had already overtaken Karkosik, Maldonado and also Drugovich to put himself on the podium.
Post the second safety car, while Falchero made it through, Martono almost managed to clear van Kalmthout for second - but went off, on the grass, thereby losing momentum, with the Dutchman retaining his position.
In the end, Falchero kept the lead by a mere 0.461s to take his maiden win in the MRF Challenge winter championship, while van Kalmthout held off Martono for second.
After three races on the podium, Drugovich had to content with fourth, while Karkosik got back his fifth position after Danial Frost was penalised for overtaking him under the safety car.
This put Maldonado in sixth, with Malaysia's Nazim Azman in seventh, while Pedana Putra Minang made it two Indonesians in the Top 10, finishing eighth.
Behind, it was Singapore's Pavan Ravishankar in ninth, as German Richard Wagner rounded out the Top 10 to score his first point in the championship.
America's Robert Megennis missed out on points finishing 11th after his battle with Harri Jones, the Australian recovering from his clash with Amendola earlier in the race.
The 10-second time penalty dropped Frost from fifth to 14th, behind Australia's Kurt Hill, as Christopher Mariot was the last finisher - with Amendola, Young and Enqvist the retirements.