Race 1 qualifying complete ahead of Round 2 of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
The time for fine-tuning and testing for both drivers and mechanics in the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East is now over, as Round 2 of the landmark 10th edition begins today in Sakhir.
After free practice, three rounds of testing and qualification 1, winner of Season 9, Al Faisal Al Zubair of Oman, will start from pole position in Race 1 of the weekend with a time of 2:02.720, showing the grid why he’s the current championship leader. The only other driver under 2:03.00 was Team Bahrain’s Isa A. Al Khalifa who clocked an impressive 2:02.955 to take position 2 followed by Berkay Besler of Turkey in third with 2:03.027.
Saul Hack of South Africa logged promising times during three rounds of testing, finishing with the second quickest time overall. In qualification, Hack finished sixth with a time of 2:03.360 after a tightly fought contest which sees just 0.365 seconds between himself and second on the Race 1 starting grid.
Speaking after qualifying, Al Zubair said: “Practice at Bahrain International Circuit has gone very well. All three testing sessions were very positive - I am happy with the qualifying result. I feel that I am still missing something to be in top form before the three races on Friday and Saturday, so I am looking forward to today’s race.”
Reflecting on qualifying, Hack commented: “It’s been quite productive. I have had two good long days on track this week. Testing was very positive, and I managed to lead the way for some, which is a first this season. I have Al Zubair in my sights as a benchmark, trying to get as close to him as I can. I am looking forward to see how I can keep this momentum I’ve created in Bahrain and channel it into the three races ahead this weekend.”
The Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East was the first regional championship backed by a manufacturer in the Middle East and is proud to continue nurturing home-grown motorsport talent from the region. It gives drivers access to the latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, the same model used for international motorsport editions, such as the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the official F1 support race.
Official driver standings after 3 of 16 races
Name Country Category Points
- 1st Al Faisal Al Zubair OMN Pro-GCC 73
- 2nd Tio Ellinas CYP Pro 71
- 3rd Michael De Quesada USA Pro 54
- 4th Berkay Besler TUR Pro 52
- 5th Khalid Al Wahaibi OMN Pro 51
- 6th J.B. Simmenauer FRA Pro 47
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East 2018/19 Calendar
Dates Round/ Circuit Number of Races
- 16-17.11.2018 Round 1: Dubai Autodrome, Dubai 3
- 07-08.12.2018 Round 2: Bahrain Int. Circuit, Bahrain 3
- 25-26.01.2019 Round 3: Dubai Autodrome, Dubai 3
- 01-02.02.2019 Round 4: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi 2
- 08-09.03.2019 Round 5: Bahrain Int. Circuit, Bahrain 3
- 30.-31.03.2019 Round 6: Bahrain Int. Circuit, Bahrain 2
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