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Qualification holds key for Ashkanani in Round 6 title showdown in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani believes qualification in Round 6 will be the cornerstone for his title ambitions as the region’s most professional racing series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, enters the final round at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) on the 7th and 8th of March.

The young sensation has been a breath of fresh air since his debut last season and is set to go head-to-head with reigning champion Clemens Schmid and two-timer series winner Abdulaziz AlFaisal in an absorbing final round of the fifth edition. The Kuwaiti leads his experienced contemporaries by three points and believes qualification will be one of the most important parts of his success.

Ashkanani, who has received full backing from team-mate Christina Nielsen in his quest for his maiden title, finished runner-up in both races at the BIC in the opening round, will look to convert final results into a winning position, starting from pole position.

Speaking ahead of round six, Ashkanani said: “Qualification is key to my success this weekend and it’s very important to start from pole position. I am up against two fast starters in Schmid and AlFaisal but having the advantage of being up front will give me the edge.”

“Whenever I have been in pole this season I have carried the momentum to the chequered flag and made use of the advantage. It will not be make or break if I am not on pole but definitely ideal,” added Ashkanani.

With three out-right victories and three runner-up spots this season, Ashkanani will have two exceptional drivers breathing down his neck and try to take advantage of his inexperience, testing both his mental and physical capabilities in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a title showdown.

Walter Lechner, manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, said: “We are set for a pulsating encounter in a season that has been totally breathtaking. In every race qualification is important and none more so than this weekend. The drivers will have to take advantage of every practice, qualification and mistake to reign supreme. 

“Ashkanani has been immense. For one so young and in only his second season as a professional racing driver, he has taken full advantage of his talent to put himself in the reckoning to become our youngest champion. Pressure does not mean anything to him and he has taken every challenge in his stride. I am confident he will tackle the latest test head-on,” added Lechner.

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 five rounds – 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 five rounds – 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

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