V8 Middle East series: Al Yaeesh and Raffii set for showdown in WGA Chevrolet V8 Supercars
Bahrain, Feb 15th, 2011 – A pair of hotly contested races are expected in the upcoming third round of the WGA Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship, set to be held in support of the GP2 Asia Series on February 18 and 19 at Bahrain International Circuit.
Ahead of the upcoming meeting, there is still no certainty who will be emerging triumphant, as depicted by the close battles of the two previous race weekends.
Bahrain’s Raed Raffii, driving for Batelco Racing Team, leads the SC09 championship standings with 59 points, not far ahead of his cousin Faisal Raffii, of Alba Racing Team, who is in second place on 43.
Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Aziz Al Yaeesh, of Al Zaid Racing Team, is currently in third place with 30 points, and he may have the momentum heading into round three having won the most recent race of the season held at Reem International Circuit in Riyadh last month.
Al Yaeesh commented that he is looking forward to getting back to racing in the series and will be aiming to continue his fine form recently.
“I think that this will be a good opportunity in Bahrain to achieve some positive results,” Al Yaeesh said. “My team and I have all the tools to compete among the best and do well against the other top competitors.
“We have a good car, and hopefully we don’t experience any technical difficulties during the races.”
Al Yaeesh finished an impressive third in last year’s championship, but the ambitious driver wants to finish with the SC09 title and declared that he will be better challenging for race wins from the upcoming round.
“With everything in place, I guarantee that I will continue to climb onto the podium after races, and improve my standing in the championship,” Al Yaeesh said.
Al Yaeesh will be facing plenty of stiff competition from many of his fiercest rivals. Among them will be Raed and Faisal, while the UAE’s Saeed Al Muheiri and Australia’s Tarek Elgammal are others.
Al Yaeesh and Elgammal are among the veteran racers in the championship, having competed in each of the four seasons so far. They also have a long history of intense battles between them, and more high-octane action is promised over the upcoming rounds.
Meanwhile, Raed Raffii expressed his strong desire to maintain his lead in the SC09 championship standings, and continue flying the flag high for his team Batelco.
“We are heading back to my home circuit – a place I know very well,” said Raed, who has excelled at the desert track many times in the past.
“My team and I are well prepared for the upcoming challenges, and we are going out with the aim of achieving nothing less than first or second place in both the weekend’s races, as I aim to preserve my championship lead.”
Raed added that he expects even tougher competition in the upcoming round.
“I will mostly be looking out for Faisal, who is also very well accustomed to racing at this track,” Raed said. “As we saw in the first race of the season, when he won ahead of me, he has the ability to lead us all here, so I think he will be my biggest challenger this weekend.
“That doesn’t mean though that it will just be the two of us who will be fighting for wins – it will be the exact opposite. There are many other drivers in our championship who pose a real threat every time we go out there, especially the guys who have raced here many times in the past like Mustafa Al Khan, Elgammal and Al Yaeesh.”
This season is the first time the teams championship has been introduced in the SC09 category. Raed and teammate Mohammed Mattar have put Batelco on top of the rankings with 73 points.
Alba, which features Faisal and partner Al Khan, are on 58 points in tied-second place with Lap 57 team, which comprises Dubai-based Elgammal and Emirati Mohammed Al Owais.
In the SC06 category for highly competitive gentleman racers, young Bahraini Ezra Idafar has so far been the man to beat, rising to the top of the standings with 34 points after four races.
Tickets for the GP2 Asia event cost 7 BD for adults for both days of racing. Access to luxury lounges along Oasis Complex are also available for 45 BD per person for the whole weekend. Children aged 15 years old and younger can get in to the event free of charge, while all holders of three-day tickets to this year’s Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix can also get in for free.
For more information or to buy tickets, log on to Bahrain International Circuit’s official website, www.bahraingp.com, or by calling the circuit hotline on +973-17-450000. Tickets are are also available at the circuit’s stands in Seef Mall and Bahrain City Centre.