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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 8: Al Nabooda Racing are on course for a record-breaking season in the Porsche GT3 Challenge Middle East after making a scintillating start to the 2015-16 campaign. The new driver combination of Jeffrey Schmidt and Zaid Ashkanani have taken the Middle East’s top race series by storm as the Dubai team looks to mark its tenth anniversary with a double title triumph.
After four races in the 12-round championship, Al Nabooda Racing have a 45-point advantage over defending champions Sky Dive Dubai Falcons in the race for the team crown. It is the biggest lead any team has held at this stage of the season, and their points tally of 182 easily eclipses the previous best of 161 which Al Nabooda Racing scored in the first four races on their way to championship success in 2013-14.
Schmidt, who maintained his 100 percent per cent winning record at Saudi’s Reem International Circuit last weekend, has already made the best start of any driver since the Porsche GT3 Cup series was launched in 2009.
His four out of four victories for a perfect 100pts total atop the individual driver’s standings beats the previous best of 94 managed by former Al Nabooda Racing star Clemens Schmid en route to his second of two titles last season.
Ashkanani, who captured the driver’s crown two seasons ago and finished runner-up last season, may have been somewhat overshadowed by his new team-mate. But his three podium finishes in four races have been crucial as Al Nabooda Racing look to regain the GT3 Cup team crown.
“Jeffrey has been grabbing all the headlines, and rightly so, but he is the first to acknowledge how well Zaid has been driving and how much they benefit from working together,” said team manager Vijay Rao.
“At this stage, quite a few records could be on the cards and it’s always nice to set new milestones in racing. But our priority from the start in our tenth anniversary season has been to bring the team championship trophy back to Dubai again to underline our record as the No.1 team in the Porsche GT3 Cup series.
“We’re delighted with the start we’ve made, but we certainly won’t be taking anything for granted and we’ll be working harder than ever to strengthen our position.”
Two records that could come within the sights of Al Nabooda Racing are the 500pts team tally they amassed on their way to the championship success in 2012-13, as well as the 276 pts scored by Clemens Schmid the same season when he captured his first driver’s title.
Al Nabooda Racing – The season so far
4 race wins — Jeffrey Schmidt
4 team wins — Schmidt & Zaid Ashkanani
Record team championship lead
Record team points tally
Record driver points tally
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East — team standings
- Al Nabooda Racing UAE 182pts
- Sky Dive Dubai Falcons UAE 137pts
- Al Faisal Racing KSA 112pts
- Frijns Structural Steel ME NED 69pts
- Team Bahrain BAH 64pts
- Jeffrey Schmidt 100pts
- Ryan Cullen 86pts
- Zaid Ashkanani 82pts
- Saeed Al Mehairi 69pts
- Hasher Al Maktoum 67pts
- Abdulaziz Al Faisal 60pts
- Charlie Frijns 53pts
- Saud Al Faisal 52pts