Porsche ME: Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Rashid extends lead in the championship with a dramatic Porsche GT3 Cup victory in Saudi

Porsche ME: Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Rashid extends lead in the championship with a dramatic Porsche GT3 Cup victory in Saudi

Sheikh Salman in dramatic victory at Reem International Circuit in Saudi Arabia

Reem Circuit Riyadh, 19th Jan 2011:  Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa scored a dramatic victory in Round 5 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Reem International Circuit outside Riyadh today to extend his lead in the series.

He came out on top in a spectacular battle with Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal after Saudi Arabia’s defending champion started in pole position and held his lead for 14 of 18 laps in what was at times a bumper to bumper battle with the Bahraini.

The decisive moment came when Abdulaziz, under severe pressure from Salman, spun off the track at the end of the back straight, presenting the series leader with a clear path to his third race win of the 2010-11 championship.

Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi

After starting in fifth place, Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi again underlined his great progress this season by grabbing second place after shrugging off a determined challenge from Saudi teenager Fahad Algosaibi who finished third.

With Prince Abdulaziz dropping to fourth, fellow Saudis Bandar Alesayi and Bandar Alireza completed the top six. The result gives Sheikh Salman an eight point series lead from Prince Abdulaziz, with Al Qubaisi just two points further adrift in third.

Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa wins, second Khaled Al Qubaisi, and third Fahad Algosaibi

Round 5 results

1. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH)                                 27:17.165

2. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia                              27:19.552

3. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                    27:20.174

4. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team             27:26.323

5. Bandar Alesayi (KSA)                                                         27:28.039

6. Bandar Alireza (KSA)                                                         27:32.787

7. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia                               27:59.961

8. Hamad Al Khalifa (BAH)                                                    28:01.842

9. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing            28:02.687

10. Johannes Waimer (GER)                                                 28:07.544

11. Alain Muraour (F)                                                              27:50.138 (- 1 lap)

Race 2, Friday 21st Jan Round 6-

Prince Abdulaziz scores Porsche GT3 Cup win as Salman retains series lead

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal cruised to a comfortable victory in Round 6 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East today while Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa retained his championship lead in dramatic style at Reem International Circuit outside Riyadh.

After claiming pole position for the second day in succession, Prince Abdulaziz led from start to finish and eventually won by 18 seconds to atone for his setback 24 hours earlier when the defending champion could only manage fourth place.

But the real drama unfolded behind him as Sheikh Salman survived a spin on the first corner which dropped him to fifth position and eventually snatched second place from Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi in spectacular fashion on the final lap.

That was the climax of a breathtaking race-long battle for the podium places which changed hands several times as Salman, Al Qubaisi, teenager Fahad Algosaibi and Saudi’s Bandar Alesayi fought for every inch on the twisting Reem circuit.

After climbing from third to second place with a brilliant start, Al Qubaisi held on to that position until half way through the 18th and final lap when first Alesayi threatened to move past him before Sheikh Salman squeezed ahead of them both.

He now takes home a six-point lead over Prince Abdulaziz to carry into Rounds 7 and 8 at Bahrain International Circuit on February 18-19.

Round 6 results

1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team             25:45.678

2. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH)                                 26:03.750

3. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia                              26:04.580

4. Bandar Alesayi (KSA)                                                         26:04.711

5. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                    26:04.926

6. Hamad Al Khalifa (BAH)                                                    26:23.995

7. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia                               26:26.505

8. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing                        26:36.538

9. Johannes Waimer (GER)                                                   26:41.363

10. Bandar Alireza (KSA)                                                       26:50.050

11. Alain Muraour (F)                                                              26:09.995 (- 1 lap)

Championship positions after six rounds

1. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH)                                 110pts

2. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team             104pts

3. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia                              98pts

4. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                    85pts

5. Bandar Alesayi (KSA)                                                         80pts

6. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia                               57pts

7. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing                        49pts

8. Johannes Waimer (GER)                                                   37pts

9. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                   27pts

11. Alain Muraour (F)                                                              25pts

Mobil 1 Trophy (Over 45s)

1. Johannes Waimer (GER)                                                   110pts

2. Alain Muraour (F)                                                                92pts

3. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                   74pts

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