Porsche GT3 Cup: Patience leads Abdulaziz to victory on home turf at Reem Circuit
Riyadh, Feb 16th 2012 – Round 8 – After playing a patient waiting game to grab victory in Round 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Abdulaziz Al Faisal has taken a major step towards his second driver’s title in three years.
The Saudi’s third win of the season on home territory prevented Austrian Clemens Schmid from dominating the race weekend at Reem International Circuit outside Riyadh, and extended his lead in the 12-round championship to 16 points over fellow-Saudi Bandar Alesayi.
After starting in pole position for the second time in 24 hours on Thursday, Round 7 winner Schmid looked like making it a double success in front of one of Saudi’s biggest ever motor racing crowds.
But a momentary lapse in concentration by the young Austrian on the tenth of 16 laps presented Abdulaziz with an opening which he gratefully accepted to take a tighter grip on the Porsche GT3 Cup series.
Making it an even better day for the Saudi Falcons, his team-mate Saeed Al Mouri produced a mature performance to finish third for his first podium place in the Porsche one-make series as an estimated 12,000 spectators enjoyed a busy programme of on and off-track events at Reem.
With Alesayi finishing fourth, Saudi’s Faisal Binladen and Swiss driver Armin Schmid completed the top six.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I had much chance of winning,” admitted Abdulaziz at the finish. “I knew that I needed Clemens to make a mistake, and so I just waited and that’s what happened.”
Seventh position allowed Qatar’s Saadon Al Kuwari to stay nine points ahead of Schmid in the Michelin Silver Trophy standings for the intermediate class, while German driver Hannes Waimer opened up a 12-point lead in the Mobil 1 Trophy for rookies or drivers over 45.
The Porsche GT3 Cup series now heads for Qatar for its debut at Losail International Circuit on March 2-3, with the final two rounds to follow at Bahrain International Circuit on March 30-31.
Round 8 results
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons 20:46.267
2. Clemens Schmid (AUT) 20:46.519
3. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons 21:57.689
4. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing 20:58.273
5. Faisal Binladen (KSA) Saudi Falcons 20:59.910
6. Armin Schmid (CH) Team TCE 21:05.055
7. Karim Al Azhari (UAE) Al Nabooda Racing 21:05.686
8. Saadon Al Kuwari (QAT) 21:14.970
9. Manfred Ender (AUT) Frins Structural Steel 21:21.782
10. Hannes Waimer (GER) Team TCE 21:30.068
11. Rob Frijns (NL) Frins Structural Steel 21:32.937
12. Shk Hamad Isa Al Khalifa (BAH) Saudi GT Racing 18:47.551 – 2 laps
Championship positions after Round 8
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons 148pts
2. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing 132pts
3. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons 100pts
4. Clemens Schmid (AUT) 88pts
5. Stephane Lemeret (BEL) Al Nabooda Racing 86pts
6. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM) Oman Air Racing 80pts
7. Saddon Al Kuwari (QA) 67pts
8. Armin Schmid CH Team TCE 58pts
9. Hannes Waimer (GER) Team TCE 43pts
10. Hans Guido Riegel (GER) Haribo Racing 39pts
Feb 15th – Round 7 Race report
Austrian driver wins Round 7 as Saudi finds consolation in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Riyadh Wed 15th 2012- Austrian Clemens Schmid won Round 7 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East today after edging out Abdulaziz Al Faisal who still extended his championship lead on home territory at Reem International Circuit outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Starting in pole position, 2009-10 champion Abdulaziz immediately lost his advantage right at the start of the first lap as Schmid made a flying start to take control.
While the Saudi driver tried hard to find a way through, he was unable to make any headway, although his consolation was that he moved ten points clear of his nearest challenger in the 12-round series, fellow-Saudi Bandar Alesayi, who finished third.
UAE driver Karim Al Azhari marked his championship debut with Dubai-based Al Nabooda Racing with a comfortable fourth place ahead of Saeed Al Mouri and another Saudi driver, Faisal Binladen.
After spinning off the track on lap two and dropping to the back of the field, Qatar’s Saadon Al Kuwari fought back to take eighth place and retain his lead in the Michelin Silver Trophy standings from Swiss Armin Schmid who finished just ahead of him.
Round 7 results
1. Clemens Schmid (AUT) 21:28.909
2. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons 21:30.921
3. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing 21:35.452
4. Karim Al Azhari (UAE) Al Nabooda Racing 21:40.129
5. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons 21:40.806
6. Faisal Binladen (KSA) Saudi Falcons 21:51.547
7. Armin Schmid (CH) Team TCE 22:02.018
8. Saadon Al Kuwari (QAT) 22:18.781
9. Hannes Waimer (GER) Team TCE 22:29.741
10. Manfred Ender (AUT) Frins Structural Steel 22:30.098
11. Shk Hamad Isa Al Khalifa (BAH) Saudi GT Racing 22:30.203
12. Rob Frijns (NL) Frins Structural Steel 22:30.684
Championship positions after Round 7
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons 128pts
2. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing 118pts
3. Stephane Lemeret (BEL) Al Nabooda Racing 86pts
4. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons 84pts
5. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM)OmanAir Racing 80pts
6. Clemens Schmid (AUT) 70pts
7. Saddon Al Kuwari (QA) 59pts
8. Armin Schmid CH Team TCE 48pts
9. Hans Guido Riegel (GER) Haribo Racing 39pts
10. Hannes Waimer (GER) Team TCE 37pts
Michelin Silver Trophy
1. Saadon Al Kuwari (QA) 59pts
2. Armin Schmid (CH) Team TCE 48pts
3. Hans Guido Riegel (GER) Haribo Racing 39pts
4. Mark Thomas (CAN) 27pts
Mobil 1 Trophy
1. Hannes Waimer (GER) 37pts
2. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 30pts
3. Rob Frijns (NL) 26pts
4. Manfred Ender (AUT) 19pts
5. Cengiz J.Oguzhan (TUR) 9pts
6. Jaber Al Khalifa (BAH) 7pts