Team Bahrain debut season impresses in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
The final weekend of the fourth season in the leading one-make series in the region, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, is set for a gripping finish in the Team Title category as the Middle East’s most promising drivers head to the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) for Rounds 11 and 12 on 22nd and 23rd March 2013.
The newly installed award for the 2012/13 season has added a fresh dimension to the competition, in the closest fought season in the history of the championship. Dubai-based Al Nabooda racing, featuring current championship leader Clemens Schmid and third placed Karim Al-Azhari go into the final weekend 29 points clear of nearest rivals Saudi Falcons with 408 points.
This weekend on home soil Team Bahrain will be proudly represented by Mohammed Mattar and Hamad Al Khalifa, who makes his season debut this weekend, as the team look to consolidate their podium position in third place on 311 points, a hugely impress feat for the new team.
Throughout the season Team Bahrain has successfully rotated drivers following a pre-season shootout to select the six of the best drivers from the country. The results so far this season have only proved the strength and depth of local racing talent with several Bahraini drivers reaching the podium. Most notably the consistent performances by Mohammed Mattar have ensured the newly form team remain close to the experienced Al Nabooda Racing and Saudi Falcons teams.
Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, said: “The Team Title has added fresh competition to the championship and has lived up to our expectations when we introduced it at the beginning of the season. All the drivers, especially Team Bahrain who have proved extremely competitive, have been pushing for valuable points for their team and as we approach the final weekend, it will be just as exciting a contest as the individual championship battle.”
“Team Bahrain has performed admirably this season and should be delighted with the work and results they have achieved. It’s been a huge step forward on an exciting journey for a number of talented drivers. It is a new team, with outstanding young drivers, and this season was a learning curve for them. Hopefully they can finish the season in style and look forward to the next season with the same appetite and desire. Mohammed Mattar is one of the best prospects in the region, who can only get better and has represented his country very proudly with consistently strong results.”
Mattar, who is currently fifth in the overall standings and second in the Silver Michelin category, claimed his first podium of the championship in Round 8 and will be looking for the same results in front of his home fans.
Speaking ahead of the Bahrain rounds, Mattar said: “I am proud of the way the team has performed this season, and it will make us stronger for future seasons. I believe if we continue the great work the team have produced and learn from our mistakes, I believe we will be in the running for team title next season. We are a young group and we can only get better.”
In the team standings after 10 rounds of the championship, Team Bahrain lie in third on 311 points, ahead of Frijns Structural Steel ME, 188 points, and Gebhardt Motorsport ME 56 points.
The series finishes at the Bahrain International Circuit hosting Rounds 11 and 12 on the 22nd and 23rd March 2013.