KUWAIT CITY, March 3: Season 7 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East will come full circle to finish where it all began this weekend as the Middle East’s most professional one-make series returns to Bahrain for a thrilling weekend of top-flight racing.
Hosting this weekend’s action is the Bahrain International Circuit. Widely regarded as the home of motorsport in the region. The 5.41km track will throw up a suitable challenge for the strong grid of 13 cars with drivers from 8 nationalities, as they take on two 12-lap races across 4th and 5th of March, with all motorsport fans welcome to witness the on-track drama first hand.
For Kuwaiti superstar Zaid Ashkanani, the final round will provide an opportunity to put right the mistakes he made in the opening round at the same track where he finished a disappointing fifth in the first race of the season. This weekend is also one last chance to close the gap between him and his team mate and leader in the overall driver’s standings, Jeffery Schmidt. With Al Nabooda Racing securing the team championship title last weekend in Round 5, the focus is solely on the individual driver’s title and it couldn’t be closer. Ashkanani currently sits just 26 points behind his Al Nabooda partner and will be hoping for some strong performances back on the track where it all started 4 months ago.
Speaking ahead of the first race of Round 6 at the Bahrain International Circuit, Ashkanani said:
“The season has gone so quickly and we are already back in Bahrain for the last round of the series. I didn’t get off to the best start in Bahrain in the first round, so for me it is a chance to prove a few things to myself on the track this weekend. It felt great to win the team title last round with Al Nabooda Racing and that in itself takes some pressure off for the final round.
“I will be giving it my all this weekend. I know there is not a huge gap between me and Jeffery but the main thing for me is finishing with a strong performance. Ryan Cullen is only eight points behind me in the driver’s standings so I need to protect my position and hope for no costly mistakes in the last round. Anything on top of that is a bonus.”
Regarded as the purest form of racing, every lap and every corner of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East counts. Qualifying is split by hundredths of seconds and racing is pushed to the limits with driver talent and race craft the difference between winning and losing as all drivers competing in identical fifth generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cups.
The unique one-make series consists of 12 races between November 2015 and March 2016. Season 7 concludes at the illustrious Bahrain International Circuit between 4th and 5th March.
Over Championship Standings
- Jeffrey Schmidt (UAE), Al-Nabooda Racing —225 pts; 2. Zaid Ashkanani (KUW), Al Nabooda Racing —199 pts; 3. Ryan Cullen (IRL), Cullen Motorsport —191 pts; 4. Abdulaziz AlFaisal (KSA), AlFaisal Racing — 180 pts; 5. Charlie Frijns (QAT), Frijns Structural Steel ME —169; 6. Saud AlFaisal (KSA), AlFaisal Racing —139.
Team Championship Standings
- Al Nabooda Racing (UAE) — 424; 2. AlFaisal Racing (KSA) — 319; 3. Frijns Structural Steel ME (QAT) — 259.
For the full race schedule, driver profiles or latest news on GT Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East please visit the official website: www.gt3cupchallenge-me.com or follow series’ news at www.facebook.com/porscheGT3CCME or on Twitter @PorscheGT3CCME.