Qatar’s Al Thani ready for more after claiming dramatic first podium
Qatar's Abdul Rahman Al Thani produced a stunning finish in Round 4 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at the Yas Marina to claim his first podium finish in the championship.
In a thrilling encounter on the tight North Corkscrew circuit, Al Thani realised his immense potential coming through a head-to-head duel with the UAE's Karim Al-Azhari that lasted until the final lap before the Qatari overtook the Al Nabooda driver.
Starting fifth on the grid, Al Thani pushed Al-Azhari all the way but could not manage to overtake him on the compact and demanding circuit, but reigned in on his opponent in the final lap to claim third position.
Looking back on his first podium, Al Thani commented: "Today was a very tough race. I jumpstarted in third round and was determined to pull back in the fourth. I wanted to show everyone that I could secure a podium with my abilities. In Round 4 I managed to achieve this with a daring move in the final laps, it was a risky manoeuvre, but that's racing. Sometimes you need to give it your all and if you're fortunate it pays off."
He added: "In the end I managed to secure a fantastic third position and I couldn't be more ecstatic."
Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: " Al Thani has immense potential. He produced a dramatic final lap, over-taking Al-Azhari with a fantastic manoeuvre to claim his first podium position. He needs to replicate this form on a regular basis to realise his undoubted talent."
Saudi Falcons Abdulaziz AlFaisal produced two stunning performances to make it a memorable weekend for him as he won Rounds 3 and 4.
The reigning champion was never in danger in both races holding off challenges of the Al Nabooda Racing duo of Clemens Schmid and Karim Al-Azhari.
Al Thani is already looking forward to Rounds 5 and 6 and hopes to continue where he left off in Abu Dhabi.
He added: "Next week at the Dubai Autodrome will be a tough week but I'm looking forward to it. I hope I can secure a further podium."
Season 4 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East continues in the United Arab Emirates with Rounds 5 and 6 scheduled to take place at the Dubai Autodrome on the 13th and 14th December 2012.