Saudi Gazette – Saudi Arabia’s Al-Faisal Racing duo of Abdulaziz Al-Faisal and his brother Saud, took to the track for Race 1 qualifying in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 7 opener at the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, posting exciting times which suggests the team could compete for victory in the team championship.
Held as part of the prestigious FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) final weekend the region’s leading drivers took pride of place as the first cars out on the stunning 5.40km Grand Prix configured track.
On a sun-drenched morning filled with excitement, adrenaline and a few nerves amongst the 15 drivers taking to the track, two-time former champion Abdulaziz Al-Faisal secured sixth position in the gold class while his brother Saud was seventh overall but second in his silver category.
During a frantic quick-fire qualifying session lasting only 30 minutes, Qatar-based Charlie Frijns stole the show, clinching pole for the first race in the twelve race series with a time of 2:04.549. In close pursuit also signaling his intent as a serious title contender debutant Jeffrey Schmidt secured second, only 0.281 seconds behind.
After qualifying in sixth for Race 1 Abdulaziz Al-Faisal said: “It’s not the greatest place to start but I’ll be looking to use all my experience to capitalize on opportunities and move up a few spots in the race. What is encouraging is the pace we managed as a team and that with Saud starting strongly, we are hoping to be in the fight for the team title from the very start.”
The second row of the grid comprised of championship newcomer Ryan Cullen from Ireland and Al-Nabooda Racing’s Zaid Ashkanani with less than a second splitting the first six drivers on the grid. A clear indication that Season 7 is poised to be more competitive than any in the history of the championship with as many as six drivers all in with a real chance of winning the most prized title in Middle East racing.
Regarded as the purest form of racing with all drivers competing in identical fifth generation Porsche 911 GT3s, the unique one-make series will consist of 12 races between November 2015 and March 2016.
Round 1 of Season 7 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East takes place at Bahrain International Circuit Friday and Saturday.