Dubai Autodrome next stop for region’s most exciting series
Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani added to his growing reputation as one of the rising stars in the region with two runner-up places in the opening races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) earlier this month.
While Clemens Schmid from Al Nabooda Racings secured race victories, Ashkanani provided further evidence of his natural talent and confidence, in finishing ahead of seasoned professionals and former champions in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The teenager heads to the Dubai Autodrome for Round 2 this weekend, looking to continue his impressive start to the season and stay hot-on-the-heels of reigning champion Schmid.
Speaking ahead of the Dubai Round, Ashkanani said: “The season could not have got off to a better start. I was happy with my performances previously but I wanted to step up a level in results. Schmid was the fastest driver over both races but I had to make sure I stayed ahead of those behind me. I have to carry on this form in Dubai and find the perfect car set-up to give the Al Nabooda drivers a serious challenge.”
Walter Lechner, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Manager, added: “I always believed Ashkanani can challenge in the top three and he has started the season in perfect style. He needs to find the consistency and show in the next Round that these results were no fluke.”
A world-class grid featuring 20 cars and drivers spanning eleven nations, including UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, will face a challenging track in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The Dubai Autodrome has a combination of high-speed straights and technical corners covering 4.3287 KM.
Walter Lechner added: “The opening weekend justified why this is the region’s best racing series. We saw action in both races, which were packed with battles throughout the grid. In Bahrain, Clemens Schmid showed once again that he is quick but I am very much looking forward to seeing how new drivers, such as Hasher Al Maktoum will perform in front of a home crowd. I am sure AlFaisal will come back strongly, as he is a championship winning driver.”
The opening races in Bahrain saw a notable debut from Skydive Dubai Falcons Sheikh Al Maktoum, who finished fourth in his first ever race in the series and third in Race 2, to cap off an impressive weekend. He will be looking to showcase his undoubted potential in front of his home crowd.
Hasher Al Maktoum said: “There will be nerves driving on home soil and also pressure to replicate what I did in Bahrain. But I am confident in my own ability and will show my fans that I and Saeed Al Mehairi can fly the UAE flag proudly for Dubai.”