ABU DHABI, UAE, Jan 19: Two weekends of exciting back to back racing in the UAE could be pivotal in the final outcome of the highly competitive team championship of the region’s Porsche GT3 Challenge Middle East with Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani on track to add the elusive team title to his already impressive silverware collection. Following a short winter break the Kuwaiti’s Al Nabooda Racing team will head to the capital’s Yas Marina Circuit for two races this Friday in Round 3 of the six round series.
After the opening two rounds Al Nabooda Racing lead the team standings by forty-five points over their UAE rivals Skydive Dubai Falcons. For first placed team Al Nabooda, the dominant performances of Jeffrey Schmidt and Zaid Ashkanani have acted as a strong springboard on their quest for victory over defending champions and second placed Skydive Dubai Falcons. Despite the strong success in the team competition, Ashkanani has plenty of work to do this weekend if he is to claw back some points from second placed Ryan Cullen in the Drivers’ Championship, a trophy Ashkanani won just two seasons ago.
Speaking ahead of this week’s return to the track Zaid Ashkanani said: “I can’t wait to get to Yas Marina Circuit. We’d real momentum in the first part of the season to open up a decent gap but it’s vital we continue where we left off. The team spirit and determination in the Al Nabooda camp has been fantastic and it’s great to have a teammate like Jeffrey [Schmidt] alongside me to push hard. We race for the team as a team.” “We have put ourselves in a strong position but we’re only approaching the half way stage. We’re definitely not complacent as I know Skydive Dubai Falcons will come back fresh and hungry especially when also racing in their home nation,” Ashkanani added.
Round 3 marks the region’s leading one-make race series’ long-awaited return to Yas Marina Circuit after a three year absence from the famed home of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The stunning track is known for its technical turns and long straights which allow for plenty of overtaking opportunities. Regarded as the purest form of racing with all drivers competing in identical fifth generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cups, the unique onemake series consists of 12 races between November 2015 and March 2016.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East now heads to the UAE for three rounds in a row to kick start the New Year across January and February, closely followed by the return to Bahrain in early March which is set to be a thrilling end to Season 7. Round 3 takes place on Friday 22nd January at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.