REEM Saudi Arabia hosts first ever Porsche and Chevrolet races at Reem
PORSCHE GT3 CUP AND CHEVROLET SUPERCAR ‘SPEED WEEKEND’
Zain Reem circuit, Saudi Arabia – January 6-7
ZAIN REEM INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT HOSTS PORSCHE GT3 AND CHEVROLET RACES TO USHER IN NEW ERA FOR SAUDI MOTORSPORT
Saudi’s Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal wins both Porsche races at Reem
Bahrain’s Raed Raffii and Saudi’s Al-Yaeesh win Chevrolet races
RIYADH (Saudi Arabia), Thursday, January 7: The Zain Reem international race circuit hosted two rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship on Wednesday and Thursday and the meeting ushered in a new era for motor sport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The weekend marked the first international FIA-sanctioned motor sport meeting that the Kingdom has ever held and witnessed Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal taking a pair of victories in the third and fourth rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup to increase his lead in the 12-round championship.
The Zain Reem races were attended by HRH Prince Sultan bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz, President General of Youth Welfare and President of the Saudi Youth and Sports Body.
“This was a milestone race meeting for the Zain Reem circuit and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said HRH Prince Sultan bin Bandar Al-Faisal, CEO of the Zain Reem international circuit. “This has opened a new door to an exciting new sporting discipline for Saudi Arabia. It has attracted tourism, new drivers and new interest in the Middle East region. We have enjoyed hosting this event and see this as the start of a new era for Saudi Arabia.”
Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal scored his second victory in three outings in the first of the two Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge races on Wednesday. The pole position winner, who held a joint championship lead heading into the Zain Reem races, fought off a fierce challenge from Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al-Khalifah to win the third round of new one-make Porsche series.
Sheikh Salman also finished second in Thursday’s fourth round of the championship, although he led through the opening lap before being overtaken by a flying Prince Abdulaziz from the Al-Faisal Racing Team. Third position fell to the Saudi’s team- mate Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, with Bandar Alesayi in fourth place.
Sixteen-year-old Fahad Al-Gosaibi of the Al-Gosaibi Racing Team finished third in race one and completed the podium and fellow Saudi drivers Bandar Alesayi, team-mate Bandar Alireza and Prince Khalid Al-Faisal completed the top six. Al-Gosaibi was involved in a collision in race two and was forced to retire.
Lebanon’s Nabil “Billy” Karam made a guest appearance and finished at the back of the field after a spin on the first corner in race one. A collision damaged the rear end of Bandar Alireza’s Reem Racing Team Porsche and he duly collected a puncture in race two.
In the Mobil 1 Trophy for rookies and true amateur drivers over the age of 45, Saudi Arabia’s Faisal Bin Laden scored a third successive win from Bahrain-based Dutch driver Jaap Vaandrager and Karam in race one. Saudi’s Faisal Bin Laden scored the win from Karam and Vaandrager in race two.
Bahrain’s Raed Raffii stormed to pole position for Thursday’s two races in the Chevrolet Supercars category after a tight battle between the 14-car field. Building on the momentum he built up from his race two victory in Bahrain in December, Raffii secured a fastest lap of 1min 26.974sec around the 3.2km Saudi desert track.
He was 0.787sec quicker than Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Aziz Al-Yaeesh, who was the fastest among the local contingent of four drivers who were competing in both the elite SC09 category and the lower SC06 class. The UAE’s Mohammed Al-Owais qualified in third position.
Raffii went on to win the first race by just under five seconds from Al-Yaeesh, with Tarek Elgammal taking third overall. Al-Yaeesh got his revenge in the second race on Thursday afternoon to take victory in front of his home crowd, with Elgammal sealing the runner-up spot and the UAE’s Al-Owais taking third overall. Defending champion Fahad Al Musalam finished fourth and Bahrain’s Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa rounded off the top five.
The Zain Reem race meeting has received valuable sponsorship from Zain, Toyota, Castrol, Bison energy drink and the Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies.
- Ends -
For further media information:
Zain Reem International Circuit, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bilal Kurjieh, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and Abdullah Al-Azem, E-mail: email@example.com
Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, PO Box 87881, Riyadh 11652, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tel: + 9661 477 1035, Fax: + 9661 477 1050, www.samf.gov.sa
Arabic: Firas Nimri, Mobile: + 9662 777 282000, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
English: Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobiles: + 44 7831 123153 or + 971 50 3616881, E-mail: email@example.com.