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Next stop Qatar as Skydive Dubai Falcons and Al Nabooda Racing look to build on impressive start in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Dubai outfits Skydive Dubai Falcons and Al Nabooda Racing are set to embark on their next challenge in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, when the region’s most professional racing series returns after the winter break in Qatar for Round 3 on 17th and 18th January 2014. 

Skydive Dubai Falcons have had an impressive start in their debut season with Hasher Al Maktoum and Saeed Al Mehairi challenging seasoned professionals to establish themselves amongst the top ten drivers. Al Maktoum, who finished third in Race 2 of Round 1, currently sits second in the overall championship standings, 24 points behind Al Nabooda Racings Clemens Schmid. 

The UAE team produced two respectable performances on home territory at the Dubai Autodrome in Round 2 to follow on their impressive showings in debut rounds at the Bahrain International Circuit. Hasher Al Maktoum finished sixth and fourth, propelling him to second in the overall championship standings. Meanwhile team-mate Al Mehairi finished seventh and eighth in Dubai.

In just their first season in the series, Skydive Dubai Falcons have also made a noteworthy impact on the Team title category where they sit second in the standings, 35 points behind current holders Al Nabooda Racing and four points clear of Saudi Falcons.

Speaking ahead of the Qatar rounds, Al Maktoum said: “We could not have asked for a better start to the season. It has been amazing especially considering the tough competition throughout the field. This is the reason we entered the series; to test ourselves against the region’s best drivers.”

“Qatar will be the first time myself and Saeed Al Mehairi will have driven under the lights and we’re looking forward to the challenge. It will be a totally different experience. We are happy with our current position but we will be looking to step it up another level for the rest of the season and hopefully we can be in contention for some silverware,” added Al Maktoum.

Meanwhile championship leader Clemens Schmid will be looking to continue his march on defending the title, and extend his 24 point lead in Qatar. The Austrian has started the season in spectacular form winning the first three races of the series and building a healthy gap at the top of the table. It was only in Race 2 in Dubai where he had to settle for second place behind up and coming Kuwaiti talent Zaid Ashkanani.

Looking ahead to the Qatar rounds, Schmid said: “The competition is hugely exciting this year and it’s pushing me to be better and drive faster. We were disappointed not to take a clean sweep of top spots in Dubai but after a bit of time back at the drawing board I’m confident in our set up for Qatar. We have a comfortable lead in the Team title category and we will look to extend this further.”

Next stop for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East is the Losail International Circuit, Qatar for Round 3 on 17th and 18th January 2014. 

Overall championship standings after Round 2

 

Name

Country

Team

Points

1st

Clemens Schmid

Austria

Al Nabooda Racing

98

2nd

Hasher Al Maktoum

UAE

Skydive Dubai Falcons

74

3rd

Zaid Ashkanani

Kuwait

Team BuzaidGT

71

4th

Abdulaziz AlFaisal

KSA

Saudi Falcons

70

5th

Karim Al-Azhari

UAE

Al Nabooda Racing

63

6th

Hubert Haupt

GER

 

53

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