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December 7, 2018  

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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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