GTO Al-Zubair and Soucek resume their International GT Open challenge at Spa


Round 2 – Spa, June 18-20, 2021

For immediate release
Thursday, June 17th, 2021


SPA (BELGIUM): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair jets in from Los Angeles to team up with Andy Soucek at the second round of the International GT Open this weekend at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes.

The duo are tackling the seven-round series in a Porsche 911 GT3 R as part of the Lechner Racing Team. They made a superb start to their challenge for honours at the opening two races at France’s Paul Ricard circuit.

The Omani and his Spanish team-mate amassed 18 points from the two races to sit third in the Pro category behind the tying early pace-setters - the VSR Lamborghini crew of Frederick Schandorff/Michele Beretta and the Team Lazarus Bentley pairing of Jordan Pepper/Ivan Peklin.

The Vincenzo Sospriri Racing Lamborghini duo of Yuki Nemoto and Baptise Moulin are two points behind Al-Zubair and Soucek in fourth place.

Al-Zubair, 22, is a two-time Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East champion and tackled the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup for several seasons as part of the Lechner Racing team before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, the young Omani regularly challenging his more illustrious rivals on the leader board.

Al-Zubair’s team-mate Andy Soucek turned 36-years-old on Monday and began his racing career in karting back in 1999. He has considerable recent experience in the Blancpain GT Series, GTWC America and the Endurance Cup and formerly took part in the F2 series, GP2 and the Spanish F3 Championship. The highlight of his career to date was taking seven victories on his way to the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship title.

Al-Zubair said: “Honestly I am very excited to be at round two of the championship. I think we proved in round one that we have a good package and the team worked well. I was very happy with my team-mate Andy. Considering it is a new team, I think we did a great job finishing fourth and third at the two races at the first round to hold third in the overall championship.

“That was a great way to start, especially when I consider that I had never been to Paul Ricard before. It was a good job. Looking forward to this weekend in Spa, I believe it is going to be a wet weekend with a bad weather forecast. This will definitely be a bit of a learning curve at the start for me, having never driven the GT3 cars in the wet. Hopefully we will get used to it and have a competitive package by the time the weekend starts.

“I think Andy and I share a similar kind of mentality in always trying to finish the race and gather as many points as we can, sometimes even sacrificing one position or so for the greater good. This is the way we are thinking about it. This is our first season and we don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves. Of course, we will be aiming as high as possible. We will take it step-by-step. We don’t have a testing programme besides what the championship offers, so we will be learning and getting faster throughout the season.”

After Spa, the season heads to the Hungaroring, Imola, the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Monza and concludes with the final two races in Barcelona.

This weekend’s action will be held in conjunction with the Porsche Carrera Cup France, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup and the Caterham series. There will be a 27-car grid across the various classes in the GT Open races.

Competitors will be permitted two practice sessions on Friday (June 18) followed by a 40-minute qualifying session and a 70-minute opening race on Saturday (June 19). Another qualifying session follows on Sunday (June 20) before the second one-hour race.

2021 International GT Open - Overall Standings after round 1:
1. Frederick Schandorff (SUI)/Michele Beretta (ITA) 21pts
1. Jordan Pepper (ZAF)/Ivan Peklin (UKR) 21pts
3. Andy Soucek (ESP)/Al-Faisal Al-Zubair (OMN) 18pts
4. Baptise Moulin (BEL/Yuki Nemoto (JPN) 16pts
5. Ollie Millroy (GBR)/Brendan Iribe (USA) 15pts
6. Nick Moss (GBR)/Joe Osborne (GBR) 14pts, etc


For further information:
Firas Nimri, Tel: + 962 7 7728 2000, E-mail: nimrifiras@yahoo.com.


Date issued: 17/06/2021

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