PCME Oman's Al-Zubair looks tp wrap up second successive Porsche title in Bahrain
PORSCHE BWT GT3 CUP CHALLENGE MIDDLE EAST
Rounds 15-16 – Bahrain, March 29-31, 2019
For immediate release
Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
OMAN’S AL-ZUBAIR LOOKS TO WRAP UP SECOND SUCCESSIVE
PORSCHE BWT GT3 CUP CHALLENGE TITLE IN FINAL BAHRAIN RACES
· Khalid Al-Wahaibi aims to defend fourth place in title standings
SAKHIR (BAHRAIN): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair heads to this weekend’s final two races in the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain with a 41-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Walter Lechner Racing driver is bidding to win the prestigious series for a second successive season before switching his attention to a summer challenge for honours in the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup.
Al-Zubair knows that consistent finishes at the two races, being held in conjunction with the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, will be sufficient to see off the challenge from Turkey’s Berkay Besler. He is relying on Al-Zubair not finishing at least one of the races to give him any chance of snatching the title at the 11th hour.
Khalid Al-Wahaibi also drives for Walter Lechner Racing and currently holds fourth position in the Drivers’ Championship, 26 points adrift of Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer and six ahead of South Africa’s Saul Hack. While the youngster will need to take care not to lose his fourth place to Hack over the last two races, he will also be aiming to push hard and try and surpass Simmenauer’s points’ total.
Both Omanis have already secured the Team Championship title for Oman after a successive winter racing campaign. The Sultanate’s two talented youngsters have amassed an impressive 551 points so far and arrive in Bahrain 241 points in front of second-placed Team Sweden.
Al-Zubair said: “We are in a strong position heading into the final weekend of the championship. I am very happy with that. It’s a matter of making the last two races comfortable. I am feeling very confident heading into the weekend and am sure we can seal the title.”
Al-Wahaibi added: “This weekend is the last round of our championship and it is F1 weekend. It’s a whole different configuration. We only have one half-hour free practice session, a qualifying and two races and the fastest and second fastest laps will be used for the pole position. I have experienced this format from my few participations in the Super Cup. I know how that is run and that could be an advantage this weekend. It’s a case of putting two good laps together in qualifying and not just one. I am looking forward to it.”
The Porsche weekend of racing is dispersed between the main Formula One action on the circuit and starts with a 30-minute practice session from 12.40hrs on Friday afternoon. Qualifying then takes centre stage from 20.00hrs in the evening.
The first 10-lap race kick-starts the action on Saturday morning from 11.55hrs and race two is scheduled for 15.30hrs on Sunday afternoon before the Bahrain Grand Prix fires into life at 18.10hrs.
Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East – positions after round 5:
1. Al-Faisal Al-Zubair (OMN) 326pts
2. Berkay Besler (TUR) 285pts
3. J.B. Simmenauer (FRA) 251pts
4. Khalid Al-Wahaibi (OMN) 225pts
5. Saul Hack (RSA) 219pts
6. Michael de Quesada (USA) 177pts
7. Christoffer Bergström (SWE) 166pts
8. Isa Al-Khalifa (BAH) 165pts
9. Leon Koehler (DEU) 164pts
10. Magnus Oehman (SWE) 144pts, etc
Team Championship – positions after round 5:
1. Team Oman 551pts
2. Team Sweden 310pts
3. Team Bahrain 297pts
For further information:
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