Having its own national Team Bahrain competing in the Porsche GT3 Challenge Middle East is something special for the motorsports enthusiast in this country and especially for the Royal family, who always was very supportive to everything that has to do with racing here.
As the Bahrain International Circuit, the F1 GP and motor racing in general play an important role in the economical development concept of the Kingdom of Bahrain, building a basis of young local talent in the field is an ever so important task. “Like this we will create further interest and attract more fans to national and international events”, Sheik Abdullah Al Khalifa, second son of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is adamant.
His son Isa bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, only 17 years old, but very mature and grown-up already, is one of the two drivers of Team Bahrain. He started his racing career in karting as an 8-year-old boy and there did not only compete in the Middle East, but also successfully in Europe. He would like to see his experience in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East as an important step for maybe continuing a further career in international racing and showed a lot of capability already in his first race, when he came second in the Rookie and third in the Silver class.
Isa sees being “calm and controlled all time during a race weekend” as a very important task and was able to prove these qualities from the beginning with a good qualifying performance and a faultless race which saw him never getting in trouble or committing errors normally not so rare for drivers of his young age.
His teammate is Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, his cousin, best friend since their childhood days and son of BIC Chairman Sheik Salman Al Khalifa. So far, the 16-year-old had only done karting, “and the step to the Porsche car was really big. Especially as I only knew about one week ago for sure that I would really be able to race in the Porsche GT3 Challenge Middle East this year.”
But he seems to be able to handle the challenge very well, delivering a clean first race an like his teammate also immediately scoring two podium finishes, in the Rookie and an the Bronze class. “It was a great feeling to be up there on the podium – so my aim is to repeat this as many times as possible during the season. Also I want to learn a lot and gain more racing experience, for which this series also due to Walter´s great effort and professionalism is a great place.”