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Schmid plans date with destiny while Al Maktoum looks to finish with a flourish in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East season finale

Al Nabooda Racing’s Clemens Schmid has set his sights on lifting the drivers’ championship trophy as the incredible fifth season of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East comes to a thrilling close at the Bahrain International Circuit for Round 6 on the 7th and 8th March.

The season finale weekend will also be an opportunity for rising regional star Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum of Skydive Dubai Falcons to further cement his status as one of the top racing drivers in the Middle East after what has been a breakthrough year for the Emirati.

For Al Nabooda Racing’s Schmid Round 6 will be a chance to regain his position at the top of the drivers’ standings which he lost after failing to take any points from the Dubai round. The UAE resident moved down to second in the championship but well within reaching distance of current leader Zaid Ashkanani of Kuwait. The final two races of the season in Bahrain will carry a total of 50 points and with Schmid taking victory in the two season openers at the same track late last year, the Al Nabooda Racing star can be confident ahead of what is set to be the most thrilling finale in the history of the competition. 

Speaking ahead of the final round, Schmid said: “All our hard work across the season will come down to the last two races and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The event showcases the finest talent in the Middle East region and what better conclusion for the season to come to. For me I know that winning both races will make me champion and that is what I am going for. Two first places will put the trophy in my hands and anything other than that will mean I have to rely on luck.”

He added, “The qualifying sessions will be the key to success without a doubt and that is where we have to make sure we are really strong. Starting from the front of the grid is a huge advantage and I would feel confident of having my best drive from out in front. With that in mind we have to throw everything at qualifying.”

For local rivals Skydive Dubai Falcons the Bahrain round is hoped to be a fitting end to what has been a sensational breakthrough season. Currently battling for second in the team standings the Emirati team’s Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum has been one of the series’ stand out performers. A solid showing in Round 6 will see Sheikh Hasher secure his fourth sport in the final overall standings in what is just his first season in the competition.

Speaking ahead of the Bahrain round Sheikh Hasher said, “Personally I have been pleased with the way I have performed this season in what is an extremely challenging competition. Obviously my ambition is to win but we have to accept that we have a lot of learning to do and success comes from a lot of hard work and experience gained over time. As a team we have had a promising year and I very much hope we can continue to develop. Bahrain is going to be hugely enjoyable simply because of the way the series has gone on; sport does not get much more exciting. For us the weekend will be about keeping our focus and making sure we push right to the end. You never know how things will pan out and there are a lot of points up for grabs so we will have to make sure we are in a position to capitalise on any opportunities.”

The region’s most professional racing series is 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

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