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New Bahrain team to challenge for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

A completely new racing team to proudly represent Bahrain has been announced for the fourth season of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, ahead of the opening rounds at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) on the 16th and 17th November 2012.

The driver line-up for the new team was confirmed following an enthralling shoot-out that featured six of the leading Bahraini drivers, all battling for the chance to compete for individual and team honours in the region's most exciting and professional race series.

The tightly fought driver trial conducted under the watchful eye of Walter Lechner, Manager Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, saw former champion Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa selected alongside Mohamed Mattar and Faisal Raffii to form an enviable driver line-up for the opening weekend of racing.

The Bahrain team will seek to secure maximum points towards the overall team championship with Al Khalifa racing in both the opening rounds, while Matter and Raffii will make their debuts sharing the second Bahraini car over the weekend.

Having witnessed the shoot-out, Walter Lechner, Manager of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, said: "The driver trial took in account everything required to succeed in Porsche GT3 not just lap times. Once the data was analysed the strongest team possible to represent Bahrain for the opening rounds was selected on merit."

"The aim of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East has always been to inspire a new generation of Arab racing drivers and giving them a platform to launch their careers and that's exactly what Team Bahrain is doing. They will offer a formidable challenge to any team. Each year the standards improve and I've no doubt this will be our most exciting season yet."

The Bahrain team completes a truly world-class grid for the start of the six-stop race series with entries spanning from eleven nations, including United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Having secured his seat in the opening rounds, 2010-11  Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East champion, Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa, said: "I've really missed racing so I can't wait to get back onto the track. The shoot-out was a great experience for me as I thrive on the opportunity to compete. Handling the car came back to me very naturally. I am ambitious so my target is two wins this weekend. I'll be also working closely to support my team mates as one of our goals is to win the team title."

The Bahrain team is expected to face stiff competition from the Saudi Falcons, with AlFaisal and Binladen in their ranks, as well as Dubai-based Al Nabooda Racing duo Karim Al-Azhari and Clemens Schmid.

For motorsports fans in Bahrain wanting to cheer on their new local team, Round 1 and 2 gets underway on Friday and Saturday (16th and 17th of November) at 3pm.

The schedule for Rounds 1 to 2 has been confirmed as:

Round 1: Bahrain International Circuit – Public Entrance 2 BD
Friday 16th November 2012

  • 10h00 – 10h30: Practice Session 1 - 30 min.
  • 12h00 – 12h30: Qualifying 1 - 30 min.
  • 15h00 – 15h30: Race 1 - 20 laps (30min. max)
  • 15h35: Podium, All Categories

Round 2: Bahrain International Circuit – Public Entrance 2 BD
Saturday 17th November 2012

  • 10h00 – 10h30: Practice Session 1 - 30 min.
  • 12h00 – 12h30: Qualifying 1 - 30 min.
  • 15h00 – 15h30: Race 1 - 20 laps (30min. max)
  • 15h35: Podium, All Categories.

Next Race

17Nov

Round 1

Bahrain International Circuit

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16Apr

Bahrain International Circuit

Winner: Ryan Cullen

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