PME Fourth and second qualifying positions for Al-Zubair in Bahrain
PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE MIDDLE EAST
Rounds 1-2 – Bahrain, November 16th-18th, 2017
For immediate release
Friday, November 17th, 2017
OMAN’S AL-ZUBAIR QUALIFIES FOURTH AND SECOND FOR OPENING
BAHRAIN RACES IN PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE MIDDLE EAST
· Oman’s Al-Zubair fastest overall in second free practice session in Bahrain
SAKHIR (BAHRAIN): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair is well placed to challenge for outright victories in the opening two races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.
The Lechner Racing Middle East driver missed out on pole position after a track penalty and qualified in fourth position for Friday’s night opening race and followed that with second place in the qualifying session for Saturday’s second round of the 12-race series. Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani claimed pole position for both races.
The first of the two qualifying sessions determined start grid positions for race one. Kuwaiti Zaid Ashkanani snatched pole position with a lap of 2min 03.990sec from second-placed Brit Tom Oliphant and Dutchman Charlie Frijns.
Al-Zubair clocked a qualifying time of 2min 04.405sec after losing out on pole position because of a track penalty. The Omani said: “Q1 was good, P1 on the time sheets, but then I got a penalty for (exceeding) track limits and that put me back to P4. I know I have the pace. I don’t think I gained any advantage but, I guess, the Stewards did!”
Q2 was used to finalise the grid for Saturday’s second race. Al-Zubair’s Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup rival Ashkanani claimed pole position again with a time of 2min 02.960sec, but Al-Zubair will start alongside the Kuwaiti on the grid after carding the second quickest time of 2min 03.010sec. Frijns, Oliphant and Saudi Arabia’s Fahad Al-Gosabi rounded off the top five.
Al-Zubair was classified in third position in the first of Thursday’s free practice sessions behind Oliphant and Frijns. The Omani ran for 13 laps and clocked a best time of 2min 03.294sec on his 11th tour of the Sakhir circuit. The time was a mere 0.147sec behind the session winner.
The Omani stopped the clocks in 2min 03.147sec in the second free practice session and that was sufficient for the fastest time from Oliphant and the experienced Ashkanani.
After a night race on Friday evening, race two fires into life at 13.30hrs (14.30hrs Oman time) on Saturday.
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