Bahrain: Besler takes top spot in Race 2 while Simmenauer takes win in Race 3 in round 5 of Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Bahrain: Besler takes top spot in Race 2 while Simmenauer takes win in Race 3 in round 5 of Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

 

Bahrain’s speed weekend lived up to its name with more thrilling racing on day two of Round 5 in Sakhir. Needing to finish the weekend with a lead of 50 points or more to claim a consecutive title, reigning champion Al Faisal Al Zubair fell just short due to some ferocious driving from Turkey’s Besler and yesterday’s Race 1 winner, J.B. Simmenauer.  It means Season 10 will go down to the wire, with the champion being decided at Round 6 later this month.

 

Besler put on a blistering display in Race 2 at the Bahrain International Circuit to claim his first Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East win. Going into the race, the young driver knew the title would be all but Al Zubair’s if he didn’t win. Showing a degree of calmness way beyond his years, Besler was able to hold off the impressive J.B. Simmenauer on the final lap after trading places throughout the race; a contest that will go down as one of the all-time great Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East battles.

 

The race started with Besler in P1, J.B. Simmenauer in P2, South Africa’s Saul Hack in P3 and the championship leader, Al Faisal Al Zubair in P4. It got off to an exciting start, with the international roster of drivers going all out in an attempt to gain vital points going into the final round later this month. South Africa’s Saul Hack made an early attempt at the start to go into P2, to be thwarted by Simmenauer, who himself found the smallest of gaps to squeeze by Besler going into turn one and into the race lead.

Germany’s Leon Kohler, Al Zubair and South Africa’s Saul Hack showcased an incredible duel in the middle of the pack, trading places in the early laps before Koehler manoeuvred into P3, with Al Zubair holding his nerve to finish in P4 and get one step closer to a second championship title.

 

The race finished with Besler in first place, Simmenauer in 2nd, Kohler in 3rd and Al Zubair in 4th.

 

Race 3 was equally as gripping, following a starting grid of Al Zubair in P1 and J.B. Simmenauer in P2 after clocking qualifying times of 2:01.851 and 2:02.290 respectively.  It was the Frenchman who was able to continue his fine form from lights out as he got off to an electric start, taking Al Zubair before turn one and holding him off with the skill and poise of a seasoned driver. Besler then showed great determination on lap 7, picking his moment to manoeuvre past Al Zubair into P2 and eventually into P1 after another fierce battle with Simmenauer.

 

However, it was the Frenchman who held his nerve going into the latter stages of the race, applying enough pressure to make Besler slip on lap 11 and steering his way to victory, his second of the weekend and third overall in Season 10.

 

Race 3 finished with Simmenauer in P1, Besler P2, Al Zubair P3 and the impressive Saul Hack in P4.

 

Speaking after Race 3, Besler said: “Winning Race 2 was an incredible feeling as it was my first victory in the championship. It was the most exciting race of the series and J.B. pushed me hard throughout. I knew going into the race that Al Zubair could claim the title today, so to be able to get a win at such an important time makes me happy. Race 3 was also a brilliant race and another great battle between me and J.B.. Credit to him, he raced very hard and deserved his second win of the weekend.”

 

Simmenauer said of the weekend: “It was a very good weekend. We worked hard as a team from the beginning to get these results and it was tough because Berkay and Al Faisal were both very fast. It was a very hard weekend of racing but all in all I’m really happy with the two victories and I feel like I’ve come a long way this season, especially considering my two DNFs in the earlier rounds of the championship.”

 

Series organiser Walter Lechner, of Lechner Racing, said: “I think Race 3 was one of the most exciting in 10 years of the series. This weekend we had three races, 60 cars, and no nasty incidents, it proves they respect each other on the track. Other championships come and go but we are the most professional series in the region. We are now going to the last race which will be the support race for the Formula 1 Grand Prix, it can’t be any better.”

 

Following Round 5, Al Zubair currently sits on 326 points, 41 points clear in the overall standings ahead of Besler in second (285 pts) and Simmenauer third (251 pts).

 

The series returns to the Bahrain International Circuit for Round 6 later this month, with Q1 taking place at 20:00hrs on Friday 29th, followed by Race 1 at 11:55hrs on Saturday 30th and Race 2 – the official support race to the 2019 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix – at 15:30hrs on Sunday the 31st.

 

 

Championship standings after 5 of 6 rounds

1st  Al Faisal Al Zubair OMN Pro-GCC 326
2nd Berkay Besler TUR Pro 285
3rd J.B. Simmenauer FRA Pro 251
4th Khalid Al Wahaibi OMN Pro 224
5th  Saul Hack RSA ProAm 219

facebook feed

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

33 minutes ago

MotoGP

The next hero in a long line of American motorcycle racing talent? 🇺🇸

Go behind the scenes with Joe Roberts racer in this exclusive documentary as he sets out on his path to take a nation back to the top ✨

#MotoGP
... See Less

Comment on Facebook

Us American fans can only hope. It’s been a long time since the golden age of American riders that I grew up watching.

Gosh, that livery is amazing. LOVE the helmet!

It's time to rise again USA 😀

Je m'implique moins ds ka moto2 que ds le MotoGP classe 1000 mais j'aime regarder de la moto3 jusk'a MotoGP sauf que trop de pilotes sur le plateau moto2 je retient pas tout forcément merci Steve Ragaud

La famille roberts Grand nom de la MotoGP du père kenny Robert puis kenny Robert jr champion du monde avec Suzuki et maintena t le fiston! En lui espérant la même carrière que ses aînés!

Use the front very late along with the rear you moron

Hate it when you do this, he has 1 podium and now all eyes are on him so he is gunna feel a mountain of pressure and if he fails that's the end of his career you guys got to stop making a big deal so early all the time what if he can't take the pressure of everyone focused on him 😒

View more comments

2 hrs ago

24H Series

The new 24H DUBAI 2020 merchandise is now online in our shop!

Check out our shop now, and get yourself a limited edition 24H DUBAI polo, vest or cap😍

www.24hseries.store
... See Less

The new 24H DUBAI 2020 merchandise is now online in our shop!

Check out our shop now, and get yourself a limited edition 24H DUBAI polo, vest or cap😍

www.24hseries.store

Comment on Facebook

What, no umbrellas or wellington boots?!

2 hrs ago

F1

"Being able to control a 700kg, 1000 horsepower car only with your hands and your feet is... it's the best thing" - we hear you, Romain Grosjean 😍 🤩 ... See Less

Comment on Facebook

I used to love this driver, great talent but now he’s just unpredictable driver.

Karim: "Being able to CRASH a 700kg, 1000 horsepower car only with your hands and your feet is... it's the best thing" - we hear you, Romain Grosjean"

Ah the hate and cheap jokes on Romain Grosjean. I bet the majority of the haters here can’t even ride a tricycle without going flat on their faces! Get a life, kids.

The problem is you are not good enough. You crash even under saftycar rules.

His best season to date was 2013, when he was team mate to Räikkönen at Lotus. Got 6 podiums and 7 other points finishes, but since 2014 his career’s been very inconsistent

Since the 2020 F1 season is pretty much cancelled, Grojean took on a warehouse job..

The problem is there Romain you can't control a 700 kg car with 1000 horsepower, Mr Gunter has had enough of you and Kevin 🤣

Yeah takes a special kind of talent to spin a car in pit lane and end up facing the wrong way.

Is he reading that out for someone coz this guy couldn't control a shopping kart

Just exactly what the hell is left to control the car with? Is there a lesser-known control system that uses, exclusively, ear muscles, armpits, and hip flexors?????

But he can’t control it lol. Poor romain. Give me the wheel I’ll show you 🙃

Wreck it Roman, coming to a safety barrier near you

Grosjean and car handling? April Fools, I got it.

Ironically the only F1 driver who can’t control a 700kg 1000hp car 🤔

All the expert race car drivers on this post 😂🤣😂🤣 Yeah, Grosjean isn't the best, but he's certainly better than all you facebookers knocking him 😉

To whomsoever it concerns, he has 10 podium finishes to his name!!

Goes to show what you think you can realise, no matter how far-fetched! Just look at Romain Grosjean.... An F1 driver.... Still... Wow...

The best driver on the grid that knows how to crash

‼️It’s super cool as long as he doesn’t crash into another😬😅‼️

Too bad there are no racing series like that...

“Being able to control.”

well, he is the one who "can" control it the least from all the grid 🙂

Still mastering the art of leaving the pitlane!

Best season for Grosjean. He didn’t crashed in any race so far.

Ironically from the driver who tends not to control his car! 🙄🤔

View more comments

Load more