Dubai: Drivers ready to get back on track in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Dubai Autodrome

Dubai: Drivers ready to get back on track in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Dubai Autodrome

Drivers are eagerly awaiting their return to action following a short winter break in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, after closing the year with very little between those contending for the silverware at the top of the standings.

Season 9 of the region’s first and only professional championship will roar back into life and resume racing this weekend, 26-27 January at the Dubai Autodrome, and rivalries are predicted to be reignited once more.

After four races of the twelve-race season staged at the end of 2017, Britain’s Tom Oliphant (96 pts) currently holds a slender six-point lead over emerging Omani star Al Faisal Al Zubair (90 pts), with Charlie Frijns lying in third (72pts).

Looking ahead to Round 3, Omani driver Al Faisal Al Zubair said: “I feel ready and prepared for the next round. I’ve worked hard in the first four races of the season to get to this position and I am one step closer to my overall goal.

“Sometimes having a break in the middle of the season can unsettle drivers and interrupt their form. However, I feel relaxed and refreshed and cannot wait to get back on track and go again. With the level of competition so high, there is no room for complacency. Every race counts now until the end of the season, and I won’t be the only driver giving it everything when we re-start our engines this weekend”

Despite the pause and lack of on-track competition over the winter period, the sense of anticipation amongst drivers has been building recently thanks to the region’s leading endurance race, Hankook 24H Dubai, hosted at the Dubai Autodrome.

The eventual winners of the 2018 race included former Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East two-time champion Abdulaziz AlFaisal. The victory for AlFaisal of Saudi Arabia once again proving the pedigree of the drivers who have emerged from the regional Porsche series.

Speaking ahead of a return to Dubai, championship leader Tom Oliphant said: “The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East has made a name for itself as a breeding ground for talented drivers, and that’s not just drivers from the Middle East. With the perfect off-season weather, world class racing circuits and top level of professionalism on and off track, drivers from around the world are being drawn to the championship each year.

“I’m a prime example of a driver that competes internationally, but wanted to find a place to compete at a top level over the off-season in Europe, to give myself an annual racing calendar and continue to progress and develop all year round. And I am not the only one, the championship is attracting drivers from South Africa, Sweden, Luxembourg, France and other areas of the world that are looking for the same thing. This also provides the perfect opportunity for young drivers from the region to develop and gain experience against some of Europe’s more seasoned drivers, which in turn sees them develop faster and really helps build the motorsport culture in the Middle East.

“I’m delighted to be sitting at the top of the championship at this stage, and I will be working hard over the next four rounds to make sure it stays that way!”

The opening four races in Season 9 were characterised by new levels of intensity and competition. Drivers from overseas now know what to expect when racing here in the Middle East, with both established international and talented local upcoming drivers taking part.

Walter Lechner said: “The rise in talent and competition only enhances this championship in a positive way. It is great to see the different battles that emerge from each category throughout the season. Our drivers can find fair competition at their own level, while striving to reach those ahead in the next category above.

“The championship prides itself on nurturing and developing talent, providing a platform for drivers to enhance their motorsport career at any stage. Each season the standards get higher. The interest from overseas becomes stronger. Season 9 has already proved successful in delivering incredible sporting drama and I for one can’t wait to see what is going to happen!”

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East returns to Dubai on 26-27 January 2018, before visiting Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, 2-3 February 2018. The final two rounds will be held in Bahrain, with the series coming to a thrilling conclusion as an official support race for the 2018 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

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22 minutes ago

MotoGP

The first win for Suzuki since Silverstone 2016! 👏

Álex Rins made the move to take himself to the top step of the podium for the first time in #MotoGP🏆

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Duarte Ruivo

46

See you in April @ COTA

2 hrs ago

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A look back at all the funny moments of #missingtheapex from the #AmericasGP 🇺🇸

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Love it! 😁❤️

this scene makes me happy🤣

I'm so happy watching marq marquez crash

Robin Berumen

Marquez 93 best rider👍💯% motogp champion🏆

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Adegan utamanya keren😂😂😂😂

Aidil Uzair 😂

I'll forever LOVE this one. Because my Twitter post made it at the 1:51 minute mark lol🤓🤓🤓

after watch this i learn lesson from marc. marc be like "you can make fun of me, but ill break the point record"

Ud

Marc Marquez ❤️ 93 ✌🏻😍

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7 hrs ago

CircuitProDigital

Photograph: Foto Speedy
............................

HTP Mercedes takes 2019 Gulf 12 Hours pole position

The #48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 took provisional pole position in an exciting end to the qualifying session for the 2019 Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

With pole position secured by recording the average time of the three 15-minute qualifying sessions, Mercedes AMG factory driver Maximilian Götz climbed into the car for the third and final session, taking over from team-mates Dominik Baumann and Al Faisal Al Zubair. Sitting in third place overall, Götz was behind the Pro-Am #20 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 Pro car.

With all 31 cars searching for a space on track in the final moments, many drivers were suffering with traffic, but with only five minutes remaining, the timesheets began to change and Götz managed to put the #48 Mercedes to the top of the average times.

The Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, which finished top of the previous day’s night testing, was now again in the hands of Patrick Kujala, and the Finland driver produced an outstanding lap of 2m08.450s, the quickest of the third session, to lift the car up to pole position.

His car’s average time was bettered, however, shortly after as Götz managed to find a clear lap through the traffic to regain top spot. Despite his best efforts, Kujala was unable to respond and had to settle for second place but on the front row of the grid ahead of the #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 and #83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3. It was an impressive recovery from the #48 HTP Mercedes after it suffered an oil pump failure in Wednesday’s test session which led to a new engine flown in overnight from Germany.

The #46 Pro-Am Ferrari 488 GT3 of Monster VR46 Kessel was in need of a helping hand after the second qualifying session, lying just inside the top ten. But with Valentino Rossi at the wheel, setting a personal best session time of 2m09.589s, it vaulted the car up to seventh place and the fourth row of the grid for Saturday’s race.

The #12 Art Line Team Georgia Lamborghini Super Trofeo took pole position in the GT Cup 1 class, in eighth place overall, two-tenths of a second ahead of the 10th place #88 Dragon Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

The GT3 AM class will be headed by Mercedes machinery, as the #10 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG took pole on row six, two places ahead of the #84 AKKA ASP Mercedes AMG, with the #65 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 in third.

The #2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 won the pole battle in the Prototype class ahead of the #4 ARC Bratislava Ginetta P3.

The #14 MRS GT Racing Porsche Cup car secured pole position in the GT Cup 2 class ahead of the #87 GDL Racing Porsche.

The GT4 class was headed by the #90 SVC Sport Management Mercedes AMG, ahead of the British duo #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570S, and David Appleby Engineering Aston Martin Vantage.

The 2019 Gulf 12 Hours will begin at 09:30 local time (GMT +4), and can be viewed on the Gulf 12 Hours YouTube channel, and Facebook page.



Maximilian Götz (#48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3):

“We possibly went out too late as I was stuck behind traffic on the out lap so I wasn’t able manage the tyres how I wanted. The first lap was okay, but it’s always the second and third laps that are the best. I had to drop back again so I just wasn’t finding the rhythm. But finally on the penultimate lap, I was able to find the best gap and I’m happy that it took us back to the top of the times. It’s a cool feeling. But there was definitely more in the car for us to be more ahead than we were.



“My team-mates did an amazing job. It’s special being on pole, but especially at a race and circuit like this.



“It’s my first time driving at Yas Marina Circuit. I went out and immediately felt at home. I’ve been doing thousands of laps on the computer at home and I really knew every turning-in point and gears.



“The balance of the car definitely changes throughout the race in the hotter and cooler temperatures in the second half of the race. So it’s all about the tyre pressures and being in the right window, as you don’t get chance to change anything else on the car. We did some testing of pressures in the night testing yesterday [Thursday], so we think we know where we should be.



“I think I’ll be starting the race, and keeping the lead will of course be important. But it’s a long-distance race, we shouldn’t touch in the first corners so we will try to keep ahead and to create a gap to hand over to Dominik.”



Patrick Kujala (#77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo):

“The main thing was to get out in clear space because the track and air temperature went down, so the peak of the tyres will last longer, one or two laps. So we knew that track position was key. That played an important part and we were able to pull out a good lap. It was a decent lap.

“I will probably be starting the race. It isn’t a sprint race, so I won’t be doing anything stupid. But of course, if there’s a chance to take the lead, I’m going to go for it.”
... See Less

Photograph: Foto Speedy
............................

HTP Mercedes takes 2019 Gulf 12 Hours pole position

The #48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 took provisional pole position in an exciting end to the qualifying session for the 2019 Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

With pole position secured by recording the average time of the three 15-minute qualifying sessions, Mercedes AMG factory driver Maximilian Götz climbed into the car for the third and final session, taking over from team-mates Dominik Baumann and Al Faisal Al Zubair. Sitting in third place overall, Götz was behind the Pro-Am #20 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 Pro car.

With all 31 cars searching for a space on track in the final moments, many drivers were suffering with traffic, but with only five minutes remaining, the timesheets began to change and Götz managed to put the #48 Mercedes to the top of the average times.

The Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo, which finished top of the previous day’s night testing, was now again in the hands of Patrick Kujala, and the Finland driver produced an outstanding lap of 2m08.450s, the quickest of the third session, to lift the car up to pole position.

His car’s average time was bettered, however, shortly after as Götz managed to find a clear lap through the traffic to regain top spot. Despite his best efforts, Kujala was unable to respond and had to settle for second place but on the front row of the grid ahead of the #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 GT3 and #83 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3. It was an impressive recovery from the #48 HTP Mercedes after it suffered an oil pump failure in Wednesday’s test session which led to a new engine flown in overnight from Germany.

The #46 Pro-Am Ferrari 488 GT3 of Monster VR46 Kessel was in need of a helping hand after the second qualifying session, lying just inside the top ten. But with Valentino Rossi at the wheel, setting a personal best session time of 2m09.589s, it vaulted the car up to seventh place and the fourth row of the grid for Saturday’s race.

The #12 Art Line Team Georgia Lamborghini Super Trofeo took pole position in the GT Cup 1 class, in eighth place overall, two-tenths of a second ahead of the 10th place #88 Dragon Racing Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

The GT3 AM class will be headed by Mercedes machinery, as the #10 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG took pole on row six, two places ahead of the #84 AKKA ASP Mercedes AMG, with the #65 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 in third.

The #2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 won the pole battle in the Prototype class ahead of the #4 ARC Bratislava Ginetta P3.

The #14 MRS GT Racing Porsche Cup car secured pole position in the GT Cup 2 class ahead of the #87 GDL Racing Porsche.

The GT4 class was headed by the #90 SVC Sport Management Mercedes AMG, ahead of the British duo #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 570S, and David Appleby Engineering Aston Martin Vantage.

The 2019 Gulf 12 Hours will begin at 09:30 local time (GMT +4), and can be viewed on the Gulf 12 Hours YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

 

Maximilian Götz (#48 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3):

“We possibly went out too late as I was stuck behind traffic on the out lap so I wasn’t able manage the tyres how I wanted. The first lap was okay, but it’s always the second and third laps that are the best. I had to drop back again so I just wasn’t finding the rhythm. But finally on the penultimate lap, I was able to find the best gap and I’m happy that it took us back to the top of the times. It’s a cool feeling. But there was definitely more in the car for us to be more ahead than we were.

 

“My team-mates did an amazing job. It’s special being on pole, but especially at a race and circuit like this.

 

“It’s my first time driving at Yas Marina Circuit. I went out and immediately felt at home. I’ve been doing thousands of laps on the computer at home and I really knew every turning-in point and gears.

 

“The balance of the car definitely changes throughout the race in the hotter and cooler temperatures in the second half of the race. So it’s all about the tyre pressures and being in the right window, as you don’t get chance to change anything else on the car. We did some testing of pressures in the night testing yesterday [Thursday], so we think we know where we should be.

 

“I think I’ll be starting the race, and keeping the lead will of course be important. But it’s a long-distance race, we shouldn’t touch in the first corners so we will try to keep ahead and to create a gap to hand over to Dominik.”

 

Patrick Kujala (#77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo):

“The main thing was to get out in clear space because the track and air temperature went down, so the peak of the tyres will last longer, one or two laps. So we knew that track position was key. That played an important part and we were able to pull out a good lap. It was a decent lap.

“I will probably be starting the race. It isn’t a sprint race, so I won’t be doing anything stupid. But of course, if there’s a chance to take the lead, I’m going to go for it.”

8 hrs ago

MotoGP

2019 Best clips 📽️

Still challenging with the best riders in the world! 🥈 Valentino Rossi VR46 Official's podium in Austin was nothing short of remarkable 👏

#AmericasGP 🇺🇸
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The best part of the race was cocky Marc with his special wanted helmet for the race was when he wrecked then they picked the bike up and it slowly fell back over on him LOL Im a Vale fan but that was a great showdown and seeing Alex cry for his first victory was great!

Hope Rossi can fight for wins next year. Its getting really boring without him up there.

The best marques

Come on marquez, another world title!!!

Nice one

marc is the best..💪

Where the hell is real champ MM93

Maybe a lot of changes next season...

Rossi!!!!!🔥🔥🔥🔥

He still first place for me😍

Go vale

Booooooooooooooooring 😴😴😴😴😴

Bravo Vale....👍👍👍👍

93nius rider

Legend....

Yeah ok

🔥

nice

Awesome

Salute The Doctor. Kiddos know nothing about The Lagend

👍👍👍

Marc Márquez

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19 hrs ago

F1

That Alex Albon is so cheeky 😂 ... See Less

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Omg! I love this duo so much! Never fail to make me laugh 😂

Actually I don't Like Alex' sense of humor :/ he is imo too arrogant

Why in the hell did Merc haven't done Grill the Grid?

If he think that one is bad i wonder what he think of the rookie of the year one ! 👀

Alex very honest! I like that

Congratulations

If he thought that trophy was crap, think how he must of felt about the rookie of the year trophy 😂

Is it just me or does anybody else wanna punch max in the fuckin face as hard as u could??

Congrats 😎

Did he say Sonny Moore at 0:28?

😂😂😂😂😂The speech

Lmao Hilarious

Sarah Jones

Celine Maddie

Nikko Par

Mary Valdez

Aalay Savla Mercedes DNS

Hgfgg

Ricardo Ruiz

While you patiently waiting for your monthly salary, others are busy earning nothing less than $500- $10000 every 48hours, Ask me how????

Alex Albon 💙

Rahul Kale Nuaman Wt

Max verstappen redbull

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