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Team Bahrain set to shine bright as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East heads to Qatar

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East returns under the lights for two night races and Round 3 of the most professional racing series in the region at the Losail International Circuit on 17th and 18th January 2014.

The fifth edition of the series has seen breathtaking race action as the region’s leading driver’s battle for supremacy. All eyes will be focused on Team Bahrain duo Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa and Mohammed Mattar as they look to move up the competitive championship table, which is currently led by Al Nabooda Racings Clemens Schmid.

Team Bahrain experienced mix fortunes in the previous rounds in the United Arab Emirates which saw the first appearance of the season from Al Khalifa. He showcased all his class and experience to finish third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. His team-mate Mattar will be looking for a change of luck after he was unable to put points on the table during Round 2.

As drivers reach the half-way stage of the season, focus turns to the exciting night time races at the stunning Losail International Circuit in Doha for the next two night races, which has hosted the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East for the last two years.

Walter Lechner, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, said: “The Losail International Circuit provides a different challenge for the drivers under the lights and tests even the most experienced of drivers. With the series at the half-way stage, it promises to be another second half where the pressure will increase for everyone to be produce their best in every race.

“In the last round in Dubai with saw some much drama, action and incredible racing, especially Race 2 which was decided on last turn. I anticipate the same intensity in Qatar with everything to play for in the individual and team standings,” added Lechner.

Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa produced an outstanding individual performance in Race 1 at the Dubai Autodrome as he overcame the challenges of Saudi Falcons Abdulaziz AlFaisal and Skydive Dubai Falcons Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum in his first experience of the all-new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

Looking forward to Round 3 in Qatar, Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa said: “It was great to be back in the series in Dubai and finishing third in the opening race of Round 2 could not have gone any better. Racing in Qatar will be another challenge for the team and we will be stepping up our efforts for the rest of the season to finish as high as possible in both individual and team standings.”

Last season’s Silver Michelin category runner-up Mattar will be looking for better luck in Doha as he left the UAE empty handed. Having been involved in a collision in Race 1 he was unable to participate in Race 2 and will be looking to get his season back on track.

Speaking ahead of Round 3, Mattar said: “I was very unlucky in Dubai and disappointed not to be able to get any points but that is the way motorsports is, you are never guaranteed anything.  Losail is a fantastic circuit and driving under lights is a great experience and challenge. I will be pushing very hard to finish in the top six from now until the end of the season.”

The series moves to Qatar with the Losail International Circuit hosting Round 3 on the 17th and 18th January 2014. Porsche motorsport fans can come along and watch the leading drivers from the region battle it out for free.

Overall championship standings after Round 2

 

Name

Country

Team

Points

1st

Clemens Schmid

Austria

Al Nabooda Racing

98

2nd

Hasher Al Maktoum

UAE

Skydive Dubai Falcons

74

3rd

Zaid Ashkanani

Kuwait

Team BuzaidGT

71

4th

Abdulaziz AlFaisal

KSA

Saudi Falcons

70

5th

Karim Al-Azhari

UAE

Al Nabooda Racing

63

6th

Hubert Haupt

GER

 

53

 

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