Team Bahrain take to the circuit ahead of Round 8 of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East in Doha
Team Bahrain were part of the strongest grid in the history of the Porsche GT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, the leading one-make series in the region, took to the Losail International Circuit ahead of preparations for Round 9 under the lights in Doha.
Team Bahrain’s Mohammed Mattar and Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa arrived at Losail, on the outskirts of Doha, looking to familiarise themselves with the 5.380km circuit for the penultimate weekend of racing.
Losail circuit floodlights will add a new element to proceeding but it was the windy conditions and sand on the track that welcomed drivers as final testing got under way ahead of Rounds 9 and 10.
Mattar, who won his first podium of the season in Round 8 is looking to replicate his performance from the previous rounds as he looks to close the gap on Faisal Binladen and Zaid Ashkanani in the Silver Michelin category.
Mattar added: “The conditions are not ideal but hopefully they will have cleared up by the time we are in qualifying and eventually the race. I am targeting a podium position once again in both rounds. I believe I have a good chance. Driving under lights will not be much different to the day, it is another challenge we will face and I am ready for it.”
Mattar’s team-mate Jaber bin Ali said: “It is important we pick up maximum points and close the gap on Al Nabooda Racing and Saudi Falcons in the Team title category. The Losail circuit is a big circuit, and it is ideal to overtake and go at good speeds around corners. It is important we do not lose further ground on the teams above us, going into the final weekend of racing in Bahrain.”
The fourth season of the series has been one of the closest in the championships history, with Al Nabooda Racings Clemens Schmid and Abdulaziz AlFaisal battling it out for supremacy. The young Austrian leads his main rival by six points with four rounds to go.
Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche Gt3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: “The conditions took us all by surprise. But the weather conditions are one of the factors the drivers have to tackle if they are to compete and win. The conditions were very difficult today, especially the sand on the track. Hopefully they will improve by the time the qualifying rounds and Round 9 begins. Never the less, it will be an absorbing race with plenty of action.”