«

Content:

Strongest grid in history of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge warm up for Bahrain season opener

The strongest line-up for testing days in the history of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East has been in action, as official pre-season testing got under way at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Four one hour long practice sessions allowed valuable track time to seasoned professionals and rookies ahead of Rounds 1 and 2 on the 16th and 17th November, giving all drivers a chance to get to grips with the iconic Porsche GT3 Cup on the challenging inner track at BIC.

Setting the early pace were Al Nabooda Racing duo of Karim Al-Azhari and Clemens Schmid, who drove the fastest times in session three. Schmid, who made a huge impression on the series last season, recorded a time of 1:06 min., while Al-Azhari followed closely with 1:07 min.

Looking back at an incident free testing, Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, said: “The testing sessions are all about the drivers building confidence, speed and feeling one with the car and the circuit. More importantly, they also gain important data for the weekend. Being back in Bahrain on the eve of a new series with such a strong grid is a special feeling. You could see the excitement in the driver’s eyes.”

Setting the early pace were Al Nabooda Racing duo of Karim Al-Azhari and Clemens Schmid, who drove the fastest times in session three. Schmid, who made a huge impression on the series last season, recorded a time of 1:06 min., while Al-Azhari followed closely with 1:07 min.

Looking back at an incident free testing, Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, said: “The testing sessions are all about the drivers building confidence, speed and feeling one with the car and the circuit. More importantly, they also gain important data for the weekend. Being back in Bahrain on the eve of a new series with such a strong grid is a special feeling. You could see the excitement in the driver’s eyes.”

The fourth season welcomes back 19-year old Qatari, Abdul Rahman Al Thani, who only competed in one race last season, on his home turf at the Losail International Circuit. The youngster, who will be driving for Gebhardt Qatar GT, said after producing an impression lap time of 1:07 min.: “It’s great to be back on the track and drive a Porsche GT3 Cup again. Today was really pleasing as the times kept on dropping throughout the sessions and that’s what I wanted when it was my time on the track. It’s a nice circuit and seems to be made for the GT3. I’m getting some good times but still there is more potential. With one more testing day, final practice and qualifying, I think I’ll be back to full speed by race time.”

Bahraini based Saudi driver Fawaz Algosaibi, who is driving for Classic Arabia Racing, was pleased with his performance. After testing he said: “Bahrain is like a home to me so everything was familiar, apart from some of the muscles I was using. People just don’t realize the stamina and fitness to race at these speeds in such an incredible machine. After some laps my driving started to flow again. For me, there is nothing like the feeling you get from being on the circuit in a Porsche.”

Christina Nielsen, the first female ever to race in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, produced an impressive first testing session, recording her fastest lap time of 1:08 min. The Danish 20-year-old, said: “I am pleased with my first drive in the Middle East. It will take time getting used to the circuit, but hopefully I will be ready to show a good performance on Friday and Saturday.”

With an impressive line-up of regional and international drivers, reigning champion Abdulaziz AlFaisal will have to produce his best season yet, with no room for error, if he is to hold aloft the championship trophy at the end of the season.

Next Race

17Nov

Round 1

Bahrain International Circuit

All Racetracks

Latest Results

16Apr

Bahrain International Circuit

Winner: Ryan Cullen

View Results