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Team Bahrain relishing title finale on home soil in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Team Bahrain are relishing the opportunity of being part of the championship finale on home soil as the region’s most professional series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East enters a fitting climax at the Bahrain International Circuit on 7th and 8th March. 

Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa and Mohammed Mattar are looking to play their part in an absorbing season-ending round and be in the mix on the destiny of the title. The duo are also eyeing strong finishes in both races to close the season off in style in-front of their ardent fans at the Home of Motorsport.

Round 6 is set for a mouth-watering culmination to the fifth edition with a three-horse title race, separated by three points. Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani goes into the Bahrain tie leading reigning champion Clemens Schmid and Saudi Falcons Abdulaziz AlFaisal after taking full advantage of Schmid’s absence in the final race in Round 5.

Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: “What a fantastic setting we have for the final round of the season and it is great that we end at the Bahrain International Circuit. At one stage of the season we thought Schmid would defend his title but the way Ashkanani and AlFaisal have fought their way back into contention is a tribute to their dedication and determination. On paper Ashkanani is favourite but judging by the results we have seen, you cannot predict anything this season. We cannot wait for the green light to go in Race 1.”

Former champion Al Khalifa, who currently sits ninth in the standings with an outside chance of moving into the top six, is looking to improve on his results from earlier rounds and test the resolve of less experienced drivers with the aim of finishing the season as high up the championship standings as possible.

Speaking ahead of Round 6, Al Khalifa said: “We are in for a fascinating final round and what a great way to finish in Bahrain. The season has been amazing and very unpredictable with a few drivers coming through the ranks to make a huge difference in the series. We are aiming to play our part and making sure we are as professional as possible in getting the job done. The destination of the title is a three-way fight and the person who holds his nerve will win. I have been in this situation before and it is the reason we are in this sport; to test both your mental and physical skills in pressure moments.”

“I have an outside chance of breaking into the top six with all the results going my way. It will be a good result for me on a personal level finishing as high a possible after a difficult campaign. I cannot wait for the races to begin as I have a feeling it will be breathtaking and nerve-racking at the same time,” added Al Khalifa.

Meanwhile Mohammed Mattar, who has not been able to build on his efforts from the fourth edition where he finished as runner-up, is looking to end his campaign on a high-note after a season which has seen him involved in a midfield battle rather than compete for podium positions.

The race for the title gets under way with Race 1 on Friday 7th March with Race 2 on Saturday 8th March at the Bahrain International Circuit.

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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Bahrain International Circuit

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