Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum ready to race on home track in new GT3
Dubai-based teams Al Nabooda Racing and Skydive Dubai Falcons are gearing up to race on home territory, as the region’s most professional racing series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, heads to the Dubai Autodrome for Round 2 on the 13th and 14th December.
A world-class grid, featuring 20 cars and drivers spanning eleven nations, including UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, will seek to close the gap on Al Nabooda Racing’s Clemens Schmid, who recently won the opening races of the fifth season at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
The race weekend will see the UAE debut of the stunning all new 911 GT3 Cup. Drivers will also face a challenging track, with Dubai Autodrome’s high-speed straights and technical corners covering 4.3287KM.
Reigning champion Schmid, who has won nine out of 12 races last season, produced two stunning performances at the BIC to win both races in Round 1. The Dubai-based driver saw off challenges from Kuwait’s talented teenager Zaid Ashkanani, debutant Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum and team-mate Karim Al-Azhari.
Walter Lechner, Manager of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, said: “The opening weekend justified why this is the region’s best racing series. We saw action in both races, which were packed with drivers’ battles throughout the grid. In Bahrain,
The opening races in Bahrain saw a notable debut from Skydive Dubai Falcons’
Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum, who finished fourth in his first ever race in the series and third in Race 2, to cap off an impressive weekend. He will be looking to showcase his undoubted potential in front of his home crowd.
Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum said: “There will be nerves driving on home soil and also pressure to replicate what I did in Bahrain. But I am confident in my own ability and will show my fans that I and Saeed Al Mehairi can fly the UAE flag proudly for Dubai.”
Clemens Schmid showed once again that he is quick but I am very much looking forward to seeing how the new drivers, especially Hasher Al Maktoum, perform in front of his home crowd. In Bahrain he showed what at a promising driver he is and will want to build on his impressive display here,” added Lechner.
Looking ahead to the Dubai Round, Clemens Schmid said: “It was a great start to the season but there is a long way to go. With a formidable grid anything can happen. I will be looking to continue my good form, but I know Zaid, Hasher and Abdulaziz will be fighting hard in Dubai.”
Kuwait sensation, Zaid Ashkanani, who finished second in both races, goes into Round 2 looking to re-produce the performances he showed in the opening weekend and fight for top spot.
He said: “It was a massive achievement to finish second in both races. The pressure is on to repeat those feats and continue fighting for the top spot from Clemens and Abdulaziz. They are title winning drivers who have been in this position before and they are not making things easy for me. I am ready for the challenge and will put all my energy into the next round.”