Qatar’s Al Thani remains calm ahead of Dubai in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Qatar's Abdul Rahman Al Thani is confident of more podium finishes at the Dubai Autodrome on 13th and 14th Dec as the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East reaches the half-way stage in the leading one-make series having qualified 6th for Round 5 today.
The 20 year-old finished in the top three for the first time in Round 4 at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, after a brilliant final lap, overtaking Al Nabooda's Karim Al-Azhari to claim his first podium position.
Al Thani is calm and confident as looks to build on his success in Rounds 5 and 6 at the Dubai Autodrome Circuit. He is looking to add more points and pile on the pressure on the top three ahead of the winter break.
Speaking after recording a time of 2.04.522 Mins in qualifying for Round 5 and starting 6th on the grid, Al Thani said: "The last two races I have been calmer because I have fought for a podium position. I am very confident going into Dubai. I have not performed as well in qualifying, but my strong point is when I am in a competition against my rivals."
"I have been much more relaxed and focused in the races and they went quite good for us. The approach was calmer, more mature. I intend to replicate the same in the next two rounds and give my all as we have a winter break coming up," he added.
Al Thani is currently 34 points behind third-placed Clemens Schmid and will need to gain two podium finishes to close the gap on the top three, but is confident he can take advantage of the 5.3Km high-speed straights and technical corners of the Autodrome.
He added: "The Autodrome is less demanding than the Yas circuit as it has long straights, so it suits my driving. I am very confident of being in the top three."
Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, said: "Al Thani produced a quite brilliant final lap to overhaul Karim into third position in Round 4. He is an outstanding talent, and with a longer circuit, I believe he is one of a number of drivers who can claim a podium finish."
Saudi Falcons Abdulaziz AlFaisal is looking for a hat-trick of wins and increase his 12 point lead over second-placed Al-Azhari, who is on 82 points. He will also be pursued by Schmid, currently on 78 points and Kuwait prodigy Zaid Ashkanani on 70 points.
With an incredible line-up of drivers, and different podium positions in every round, the competition will surely be intensified ahead of the winter break.