Dubai, Feb 24th 2015 – The leading drivers’ in the Middle East will return to the race track this week for the penultimate race weekend of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 6 with Round 5 at the Dubai Autodrome set to be one of the most hotly contested yet.
Dubai, the scene of much motorsport drama over the years will play host to the most successful and professional racing series in the region for the second time in the series, welcoming an impressive international line-up of 17 world-class drivers representing over 10 different nations including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar as we approach the business end of what’s been a pulsating series in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
With everything still to play for in both the drivers’ and team championships all eyes will be on either end of the grid as the slightest of margins could prove pivotal in the pursuit of the most prestigious of honours in Middle Eastern motorsport.
After four gripping rounds, which have seen the regions most talented and sought after talent take to the Gulf’s leading racing circuits in Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai, Round 5 looks set to be the most thrilling yet with local based teams Skydive Dubai Falcons and Al Nabooda Racing battling it out for the team category. UAE resident Clemens Schmid of Al Nabooda Racing will be hoping to extend his lead at the top of the Driver’s championship after he saw his tally almost cut in half by defending champion Zaid Ashkanani when he claimed back to back victories in Doha for Round 4.
Leading the series with two rounds to go Schmid (190 points) secured 2nd and 3rd during Round 4 in Doha and it proved to be crucial with Ashkanani (184) now only a slender six points behind in the title race having claimed 1st place in both races of Round 4.
Speaking ahead of Round 5 in Dubai Schmid said “It has been a really tough series. It’s also been enjoyable but now is the time to stay focused. With Zaid now six points behind me in the championship I need make the right decisions and ensure I am driving to my best capabilities. This weekend is Dubai, the home ground of Al Nabooda Racing so we’ll be pushing hard to get maximum points and make that gap a little bigger.”
But far from it being a two-horse race podium places are never guaranteed in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East with a host of emerging racing talent on display. This is the case with Schmid’s Al Nabooda Racing teammate Ahmed Al Harthy, whose performances in Series 6 have ensured that Al Nabooda Racing can compete on two fronts as they currently hold first place in the team category (288 points). Al Harthy’s contributions leave Al Nabooda Racing with a healthy eight point lead over fellow local team Skydive Dubai Falcons (280 points) who lie in second place.
The Skydive Dubai Falcons will expect to apply pressure at the top as Emirati duo Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum and Saeed Al Mehairi take to their home circuit, with Al Mehairi currently third in the standings. Al Mehairi’s consistency over the course of the series leaves him staring at the possibility of a podium finish come the end of the series. Having come first in Race 1 of Round 2 in Dubai late last year, Al Mehairi has more than proved himself on the track.
Speaking ahead of Round 5 at the Dubai Autodrome, Al Mehairi said: “It’s an exciting time in the competition that is for sure. It’s a really competitive series so to be in the podium places with only two rounds to go is really satisfying. I just need to maintain this in Dubai this weekend to secure as many points as possible for myself and the team. We have a real chance to battle for the team title so it’s an opportunity to cement our status in the pinnacle of regional racing.”
For local motorsport fans in the UAE the pure race action featuring the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and one of the strongest grids ever assembled in the series means intense rivalries throughout the field.
The region’s leading drivers will line-up in the Porsche 911 GT3 as the star attractions at Dubai Autodrome. The drivers will face 10 laps of the 5.39KM Grand Prix Circuit at the Dubai Autodrome with Round 2 Race 1 on Friday 27th February and Race 2 on Saturday 28th February with all fans welcome.
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