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Kuwait’s Ashkanani sets sights on debut Championship title as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East goes down to the wire

With just one round to go in season five of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Zaid Ashkanani is looking forward to his ultimate challenge as the Kuwaiti youngster takes a slim three point drivers’ championship lead into the two-race weekend Bahrain International Circuit on the 7th and 8th of March

After defending champion and previous series leader Clemens Schmid failed to score any points in Round 5, the revelation of the season Ashkanani has taken advantage of his rival’s situation and secured a narrow three point gap at the top of the drivers’ standings. The young Kuwaiti now stands on the brink of his first ever Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East title in what is just his second season.

However with two of the most successful and experienced drivers breathing down his neck the excitement in Bahrain is set to reach fever pitch as the drivers go head to head with 50 points still to play for. It means that the championship cannot be decided until the thrilling final race of the season.

Speaking ahead of the Bahrain showdown Ashkanani said, “What an incredible season this has been for me personally but in general, you could not have written a more exciting script. In Bahrain I will be going for the win. If I win both races I am champion and that is where I can have control. If I don’t win then the results are out of my hands and I will have to hope for the best.”

He added, “Without a doubt Bahrain is going to be one of the most intense and exciting experiences of my life; there is a regional championship on the line. I am proud of my achievements in the competition but of course I want that trophy at the end of it all. It’s not going to be easy; it’s going to be incredibly difficult. Abdulaziz AlFaisal and Clemens are hugely experienced drivers and they will be pushing me all the way. What a fantastic finale for the season.”

The Dubai drama involving Schmid being unable to score any points for the round also allowed the Saudi Falcons star AlFaisal to draw level in second in the standings while narrowing the gap in the overall team competition.

Speaking ahead of the final round Walter Lechner, Manager of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: “Season five has been the best yet; the fastest, the closest and the most exciting. No one could have predicted how it would go and here we are going into the final round with the overall leader just 3 points clear and two former champions tied for second. The standard of driving this year has been of the highest level and the top drivers have been all but inseparable. Bahrain is set to host one of the most exciting series finales ever witnessed in the Middle East.”

The region’s most professional racing series set to come to a thrilling climax at the Bahrain International Circuit for Round 6 on the 7th and 8th of March.

Overall championship standings after Round 5 – Top 6

 

Name

Country

Team

Points

1st

Zaid Ashkanani

Kuwait

Buzaid GT

199

2nd

Clemens Schmid

UAE

Al Nabooda Racing

196

2nd

Abdulaziz AlFaisal

KSA

Saudi Falcons

196

4th

Hasher Al Maktoum

UAE

Skydive Dubai Falcons

166

5th

Karim Al Azhari

UAE

Al Nabooda Racing

150

6th

Saeed Al Mehairi

UAE

Skydive Dubai Falcons

147

Overall Team Title standings after Round 5 – Top 3

 

Name

Country

Points

1st

Al Nabooda Racing

UAE

342

2nd

Saudi Falcons

KSA

320

3rd

Skydive Dubai Falcons

UAE

310

Next Race

17Nov

Round 1

Bahrain International Circuit

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16Apr

Bahrain International Circuit

Winner: Ryan Cullen

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