REEM Zain Reem circuit set to host Porsche GT3 and Chevrolet races
PORSCHE GT3 CUP AND CHEVROLET SUPERCAR ‘SPEED WEEKEND’
Zain Reem circuit, Saudi Arabia – January 6-7
ZAIN REEM INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT PREPARES TO
HOST PORSCHE GT3 AND CHEVROLET RACES IN RIYADH
‘Speed Weekend’ marks first in Saudi Arabian sporting history
Saudi’s Bison Reem, Al-Gosaibi Racing and Al-Faisal teams bidding for glory
Saudi’s Prince Khalid Al-Faisal and Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal lead Porsche GT3 series
Lebanon’s Nabil Karam joins region’s Porsche GT3 racers in Riyadh
RIYADH (Saudi Arabia), Tuesday, December 29: The Zain Reem international race circuit in Riyadh will play host to rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship on Wednesday, January 6th and Thursday, January 7th, 2010.
The two-days of motor sport action will mark the start of a hectic few months of 2010 motor sport action in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and marks the first event of its kind in the history of Saudi Arabian motor sport. The Zain Reem circuit is fulfilling two of its goals of attracting international visitors to the Middle East’s largest country and promoting tourism in the largest country in the region.
Both the Porsche and Chevrolet entrants will take part in two races apiece during the ‘Speed Weekend’ timetable. The Saudi circuit will host six of the 12 rounds of the Porsche series, while Abu Dhabi’s new Grand Prix circuit hosts four races over two rounds and Bahrain completes the championship calendar.
The new one-make Porsche GT3 race series was launched in Bahrain in mid-December and the Riyadh races have attracted a similarly impressive entry to the recent round of the series at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. The Reem race will also witness the return to racing of the Lebanese veteran Nabil ‘Billy’ Karam as a celebrity guest driver. Karam heads Lebanon’s Porsche club and won the Rally of Lebanon in 1986 at the wheel of a Porsche 911. The Lebanese also entered the Guinness Book of Records recently for having the largest collection of model cars in the world – he is reported to have in the region of 22,000 models.
The inaugural Porsche GT3 races heralded the worldwide debut of Porsche’s 911 GT3 Cup cars and were won by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal and his cousin Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Prince Abdulaziz hitting the front in the first race once Bahraini pole winner Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al-Khalifa retired with mechanical problems.
Sixteen-year-old Saudi Fahad Al-Gosaibi of the Al-Gosaibi Racing Team also proved his potential for the future by taking third position in one of the races. Both Saudi princes now hold a joint lead in the new 12-round series heading to the Zain Reem circuit, which was attracted an impressive entry bolstered by Abu Dhabi’s Khalid Al-Qubaisi, the Bison Reem Team and a host of other Saudi drivers.
Abu Dhabi hosted round one of the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship in conjunction with November’s Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Island circuit and the category was sub-divided into the SC09 and SC06 classes. Round two took place in Bahrain in mid-December and Reem will host the third round of the series, with racers returning to the Riyadh circuit on March 31-April 1 for the season’s finale.
Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al-Khalifa and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid Al-Faisal shared the honours at the Abu Dhabi race meeting, with Bahraini defending champion, Fahad Al-Musalam, reaching the podium in both races. Musalam went on to win the first of the two Bahrain races at Sakhir and fellow countryman Faisal Raffii won the second race after taking the lead from a rolling start. Saudi Arabia’s Bandar Al-Silmy and Husam Al-Saleh finished second and third in the SC06 category.
“We hosted the final round of the FIM Asian Supercross Championship at Reem in December and are delighted to be hosting two exciting and different forms of motor sport at the start of 2010,” said HRH Prince Sultan bin Bandar Al-Faisal, CEO of the Zain Reem international circuit. “Circuit racing has a big following in the Middle East region and this has expanded in recent years following the successes of the Formula One races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and the MotoGP in Qatar.”
The Zain Reem race meeting has received valuable sponsorship from Zain, Castrol, Bison energy drink and the Bin Laden Group of Companies.
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