FIA GT3: Abdulaziz Turki Al Faisal wins on FIA GT3 debut and makes history for Saudi Arabia
Portimao, Sat May 7th: It’s been a perfect start to the season for Team Need For Speed Scubert in both BMW Z4 GT3 coupés with a win in Race 1 for Edward Sandstrom and Abulaziz Al-Faisal in the #6 car and Claudia Hurtgen and Csaba Walter backing them up in second place.
Abdulaziz Turki Al Faisal has his first debut in FIA GT race with a win! Making history by being the first Saudi Arabian to win an FIA GT race.
It was not easy for the saudi as he had to adapt to the car which he only tested in Hugaroring last week and it was the first time on the Portimao track. Abdulaziz showed great racing skills by matching the pace of the big names and has worked hard over the week to make sure he learns the track as fast as possible. And it paid off!
The start of the race was amazingly well behaved for once, with all the cars getting through the first corner unscathed despite scattering five-wide across the track at the rolling start. Edward had started the Z4 from pole but was mobbed at the green lights – he was sticking to the 90kph rolling start speed and was jumped by the cars around him who had already started accelerating! But, this just meant more fun in overtaking them to get the lead back. Edward handed over the car from the lead – Abdulaziz emerged from the pits just a second in front of the chasing Mercedes SLS but soon pulled out a gap that he kept until the chequered flag.
In third place was another Z4, the Dutch Faster Racing entry, making it a clean sweep of the podium for BMW. For Team Need For Speed, that’s now three wins in a row – Zolder at the end of last year, the Dubai 24 and now in Portugal.
Race 2 tomorrow is going to be tougher, as the cars are starting in 15th and 18th, but after today’s successes they’ve got to be hoping for another good result.
Submitted by Team ATF Racing