Al Zubair ready to launch Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign after impressive GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East debut
Al Faisal Al Zubair, the Omani driver rapidly making his mark in the world of motor racing, officially launched team ‘FZracing’ in a VIP event held at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort on Tuesday. Rolling out the new team livery, Al Faisal announced the participation of team FZ Racing in the prestigious 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race series, which follows the Formula 1 (F1) racing circuit across Europe, United Kingdom and Mexico later this year. Al Faisal will be looking to add to his racing experience following his recent success in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, where he took both the GCC Rookie and Silver category championship titles in his debut season. Present at the event was Walter Lechner, founder of Lechner Racing GmbH and principle backer for team FZracing, renowned journalist & F1 commentator Firas Nimri, together with invited dignitaries, guests and motorsport media.
Speaking at the launch of team FZracing, Al Faisal Al Zubair said: “It’s been an amazing journey for me since November last year and it continues to get better. After making the decision to move into the Porsche GT3 Cup car from single seaters, my driving career has really taken off. The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East provided a great platform for me to build and develop on my racing experience and I feel that driving the Porsche GT3 Cup car really suits my driving style. I knew that competing in Season 8 of the GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East would be tough, but I seemed to adapt quickly and I surprised myself, and the people around me with the results I was getting early on.”
In April, Al Faisal capped off a stunning season debut in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, signaling a remarkable end to the hard fought series. Round 11 of 12 on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, which supported the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix and was viewed by a global audience, saw Al Faisal Al Zubair take his maiden victory in the championship, while the final race of the season saw Al Faisal placing fourth, taking his sixth Silver Class victory, as well as his ninth GCC Rookie Class win.
After an incredible debut season which saw Al Faisal compete against some of Europe’s and the region’s best young driving talent, whilst also coming up against seasoned professional drivers, Al Faisal’s dream of competing at the top echelons of international motorsport will continue into the Summer with Porsche and the Lechner Racing team.
“After such a successful first season in the GT3 Cup Car, I’m so proud and excited to be able to continue my dream with Walter Lechner and the Lechner Racing Team and compete in Europe in the Porsche Supercup. This is going to be a huge challenge for me and a big learning curve, so I will be taking every race as an opportunity to build my skills and experience. It feels amazing to be on the right path to my dreams and I can’t wait for the first round to start on May 12th in Barcelona.”
Determined to put Oman in the international spotlight, at his young age of only 19 years Al Faisal Al Zubair is no newcomer to the world of motor racing. Born and raised in Muscat, he started early on in competitive karting before making his way up through the junior single seater categories in the United Kingdom. By 2016 he was participating in the British Formula 3 (F3) series, which is often seen as the launch-pad for racing drivers to elevate their career, often to professional status.
Al Faisal is widely acknowledged as a rising star of motorsport in the Middle East, and has certainly made an impression with industry observers in his debut season of Porsche racing. With the recent double championship success, attention now turns to the next rung on his career ladder. The entry of team FZracing to the 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race series marks the next stage in Al Faisal’s flourishing motor racing career, one that will take him onto the global motor racing arena.
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has been running since 1992 and after just its first year in competition became part of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship – and always held directly ahead of the F1 Grand Prix races at European and international top locations. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is the most competitive of the worldwide Porsche one-make series, and provides a riveting stage for intense driving action. The basic principle of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup guarantees fair competition at the highest sporting level, with each driver competing in identical vehicles based on the seventh generation of the 911 GT3 Cup.
Also speaking at the media launch in Oman, Walter Lechner, founder and head of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: “Al Faisal is a perfect example of what the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East stands for. Developing young regional racing talent, and helping them to build a future in motorsport is something that the championship prides itself on, and to see a driver as young as Al Faisal come into the championship and develop this quickly over a five month period is a testament to the series and everyone involved.”
“I’m excited to see how Al Faisal will perform but there is no doubt that this is going to be a very challenging experience for him. The good thing is that Al Faisal has already been exposed to some of the drivers that compete regularly in the Supercup like Ryan Cullen, Dylan Perreira, Tom Oliphant and Charlie Frijns so he won’t be off the pace at all. I am hoping he can take the form he has shown here over the winter into Europe and drive with the same fearless attitude that we have been accustomed in each round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. I wish him the best of luck.”
Founded in 1975, the Lechner Racing Team has enjoyed great success in numerous racing series - currently in the Porsche Supercup which operates within the framework of FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Parallel to a successful racing career, Lechner Racing successfully operates a racing school. Today, it is considered one of the most successful motorsport organisations who nurture emerging talent worldwide. In addition to racing activities, Lechner Racing GmbH has positioned itself as an international partner for the automotive and tyre industry.
Commenting on the launch of team FZracing, noted journalist & F1 commentator Firas Nimri said: “Al Faisal has a fantastic motor racing career in front of him. It is very important for any racing series worldwide to be able to promote local talent, especially in the Middle East, where racing still has fantastic opportunities for growth. Progressing to the 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race series is a great next step, a step which takes Al Faisal onto the global motor sports stage. A driver of his talent can attract a lot of additional interest to the sport from within the region and globally, which is great for motor racing in Oman and the region.“
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup consists of eight rounds competing on circuits such as Monaco, Spielberg, Silverstone, Budapest, Belgium, Italy, and Mexico. The first round will get underway in Barcelona at the circuit de Catalunya on the 12th – 14th May 2017.