WEC: Painful result for Al Qubaisi and Proton Porsche team at 6hrs of Spa
Abu Dhabi May 3, 2015 – Abu Dhabi-Proton racing team claimed fourth place in Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours race, LMGTE Am class, on board the Porsche 911 RSR No. 88. The team were aiming for a podium finish, particularly after qualifying in 3rd; but two collisions with a Ferrari during the final quarter of the race, affected the balance and performance of the car.
Sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium and Etihad Airways, Emirati Khaled Al Qubaisi returns for a second year in a row, to participate in the World Endurance Championship FIA WEC, for the Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Team, with teammates Christian Ried (Germany) and the Klaus Bachler (Austria).
The Abu Dhabi team recorded some excellent times during the qualifying session of Spa with an average lap time of 2:21.432 (Bachler 2:19.610 and Ried2:23.255 ) which was enough to secure 3rd place on the starting grid.
The Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours race was watched by a crowd of over 54,000 spectators (exceeding last year’s attendance levels by 8,000 people) and had an exciting start in all categories. In the LMGTE Am class Klaus Bachler moved the Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing team into second place behind Aston Martin. However pit stops strategies dropped the team back into third. By the 3rd period of the race the Abu Dhabi team had lost 2 more places and were sitting in 5th position in class. But the UAE’s Khaled Al Qubaisi entered the race and succeeded in restoring the team to third place. However 2 collisions with the Ferrari team during the last quarter of the race affected the car’s balance and slowed the car’s performance.
Al Qubaisi said: “We had an excellent start and we managed to secure second place, however, the two collisions with the Ferrari team participating in LMGTE Pro severely affected our race. The first collision caused the car to slip after a rear hit. The second was a hit from the side which damaged the right side‘s front wheel balance, costing us about four seconds a lap. Even so we decided to continue with the race in an unbalanced car instead of taking an unscheduled pit stop to repair the damage, so we lost a place. Despite this I still believe we had good race and morale remains high. We go to the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month hoping to repeat last year performance and get a podium position”.
All eyes will be on Le Mans Circuit in France next month for the world famous 24hrs of Le Mans race for the 3rd round of the World Endurance Championship (June 13th / 14th). Last year’s edition saw Al Qubaisi and the Abu Dhabi team clinch 2nd place within their category.