Frijns wins second race of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 8 in Bahrain
Qatar-based driver Charlie Frijns has won the second race of Season 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East thanks to a composed drive from pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Less than twenty-four hours after a pulsating first race of the season the same 17 cars representing 12 different driver nationalities returned to the grid and produced more world-class high speed action. Unlike the first race on this occasion the bold overtaking manoeuvres were a feature of those further down the grid battling for second place rather than the lead.
Frijns was the only driver to avoid any threats to his position and led from start to finish, looking comfortable throughout to win by a margin of 1.618 seconds. Victory secured his first win in three seasons. Behind Frijns, Dylan Pereira of Luxembourg repeated the second place he secured in the opening race with Norway’s Denis Olsen in third.
Speaking after the win Frijns said: “This is my first victory in three years so you can imagine how much it means to me. I managed to achieve a number of podium positions last season in the championship but never managed to win a race. I had a really good start today and managed to pull a gap ahead of the others, I knew I just had to concentrate on my driving and not worry about what was going on behind me. Towards the end of the race Dylan closed the gap a little but that was due to me keeping it safe and focusing on not making any mistakes.
“I think one of the main things I have learnt in this opening weekend is qualifying is going to be vital this season, getting those top two spots on the grid could be the difference between winning and losing the championship. I am very pleased with the result but it is a long season, and there is a long way to go.”
It was a sweet victory for Frijns who crashed out from pole position last season but there was no mistakes 12 months on. Clearly the wealth of experience Frijns gained in Porsche Supercup during the summer has helped the young driver mature into real title threat in Season 8.
The first three drivers were followed over the line by winner of the opening race Ryan Cullen of Ireland who finished fourth, Britain’s Tom Oliphant came fifth and Bandar Alesayi of Saudi Arabia was sixth.
In the overall driver standings after two races out of a total of twelve across the season Dylan Pereira (48) leads, Ryan Cullen (46) is in second place and victory for Frijns (42) has taken him into third.
Lechner, the owner of Lechner Racing, and founder and manager of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East added: “Congratulations to Charlie. He’s worked hard and remained patient so deserves this victory. On behalf of the championship it is mission accomplished for the opening races in Bahrain. Season 8 promises so much and already it is delivering. This season’s expanded grid and blend of elite drivers from the region and Europe guarantees high competition and high standards. Everyone is already looking forward to Dubai.”
The second round of the championship featuring the third and fourth races of the twelve race season will take place at Dubai Autodrome on 9th and 10th December, 2016.