Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East back on the grid at Reem International Circuit
The Middle East’s most exciting and professional one-make series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, races back into action at Reem International Circuit, KSA, for Rounds 7 and 8 in what promises to be an exciting second half of the fourth season.
One of the strongest grids ever assembled in the history of the series will return from their seven-week winter break with the stakes higher in the battle for the individual driver and team championships.
This week Saudi Falcons Abdulaziz AlFaisal, racing on his local track, will be looking to take full advantage of a circuit he knows very well and where he has an almost impeccable record. Leading by 12 points from Al Nabooda Racings Clemens Schmid, AlFaisal is seeking two more good results as he looks to secure his third drivers’ championship in four years.
Speaking ahead of testing at the Reem International Circuit, on the outskirts of Riyadh, AlFaisal said: “It is great to be back on the circuit and in the Porsche GT3 Cup after the winter break. It is not a do-or-die situation at the moment but we are all aware that one mistake could mean dropping down the table. I will be extremely focused this weekend. My aim is to extend my lead at the end of both rounds in Reem.”
“Saudi Falcons will have a capacity crowd backing us this weekend and more than anything we will want to make the fans proud with our performances. It’s always special to race in front of your friends and family. Both Abdulaziz and I can’t wait,” added team-mate Faisal Binladen.
Dubai based Clemens Schmid of Al Nabooda Racing, who is second place in the overall drivers championship, will hope to spoil the homecoming for the reigning champion AlFaisal. Speaking on his challenge for the title, Schmid said: “If I want to win the drivers title I need to keep on winning. It’s that simple. I managed two victories in Dubai but now the real test will come at Reem. There is no doubt it’s going to be really difficult but that’s why I love this championship. It pushes the drivers and the car to the absolute limits.”
Schmid’s team-mate, UAE’s Karim Al-Azhari, who holds 117 points, will be looking to force his way into the top hard while also keeping Kuwait’s 18-year-old sensation, Zaid Ashkanani at arm’s length. The youngster currently sits in fourth place in his break-through year.
Further down the standings, Team Bahrain duo of Mohammed Mattar and Raed Raffii will be looking to cement their positions in the top-six alongside AlFaisal’ s Saudi Falcons team-mate Faisal Binladen.
Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, said: “I am looking forward to the battles ahead this weekend as the action is going to be intense through the field. The reigning champion, AlFaisal is the slight favourite this weekend, as he drives on his home circuit, but Schmid will want to push him really hard and make sure he does not have it all his way.”
“I also hope to see a strong performance by Faisal Binladen in front of cheering Saudi fans. It’s going to be a special weekend for all of us and we’ll promise thrills, spills and plenty of excitement in front of a capacity crowd at the Reem International Circuit and once again prove why this is the leading one-make series in the region.”
Drivers will also be fighting for every point with the Team Title also at stake and just as tight as the overall championship. UAE’s Al Nabooda Racing lead the category with 245 points, a 20-point lead over Saudi Falcons. Team Bahrain are in third place on 202 points.