Kuwait’s Ashkanani to focus on the technicalities as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East arrives in Qatar
As the fifth season Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East reaches the midway stage, all eyes are on Qatar as the most professional racing series in the region prepares for the Round 3 weekend of night races at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on 17th and 18th January 2014.
Now in his second series, Kuwaiti teenage sensation Zaid Ashkanani is breaking through the competition and mounting his challenge silverware. Finishing second in both Round 1 Bahrain races before securing his first victory in Race 2 in Dubai, the 19 year old is the latest young regional star plying their trade in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. As the driver prepare for an action packed weekend under the lights in Qatar Ashkanani says the change in conditions presents a whole new selection of challenges.
“The night races in Qatar are amongst my favourite in the series. With the cooler track temperature it’s a completely different challenge. Racing lines and bumps in the track, which may have been obvious in the light, are much harder to see so we have to be prepared and accurate. The car set up is extremely important and we’ve been having a few issues with oversteer. However we have time and a good few practice sessions still to go so I’m confident and excited ahead the race weekend.”
Despite a strong showing in the early rounds there’s still work to do for Ashkanani who faces an uphill battle to catch competition leader Clemens Schmid. The Austrian has been close to faultless in the series so far and boasts a commanding 24 point lead.
On his rival Ashkanani said, “Clemens is a fantastic driver and he continues to improve, but I see that as a positive. To win the series I will have to improve and the best way to get better is through competition. It happens at the highest levels of motorsport, and all sports for that matter. The old Formula 1 challenges between Niki Lauda and James Hunt have been topical recently and it shows how important a talented rival can be for your own professional development. Not to mention the excitement it gives to the fans.”
The series races into 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
Al Nabooda Racing
Hasher Al Maktoum
Skydive Dubai Falcons
Al Nabooda Racing