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

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8 hrs ago


We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form ... See Less

We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form

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We stand with #F1 do you always have to reminded of true responsibility by the Champ #LewisHamilton Proudly black/colored❤️👌🙏👀

Really F1? And yet they held a Bahrain Grand Prix literally while the locals were protesting and being oppressed. One post created by your PR team while you’ve done nothing for real change seems quite meaningless. Do better.

Hamilton was on the receiving end of racism during the pre season tests at Catalunya in 2008, so he knows what it’s like firsthand. Good job he spoke out, especially with what happened in Minneapolis last week

Took a bit of criticism from your best driver for you to say something about it as a whole. We do this together.

Will F1 really take a stand and not hold events in countries with systemic human rights violations? I doubt it.

So much racism in F1. I can’t wait for the day a person of color drives the best car on the grid, makes the most money, and becomes a multiple world champion... oh wait... never mind 🙄 late..dollar short..only speaking up after prodding from Lewis...PR lip service...

Humans are imperfect and forever will be. I doubt you can oppose and eradicate it. Each and every individual need to decide to not let these evil things from inside to take control of him. Once all the protests are over it will silence down only for it to come back again. How soon another protest will happen doesn't matter. How capable EACH and EVERY human is from getting controlled from the evil within is the real challenge. The lack of self control is the greatest human imperfection.

Nice to finally hear from the American owners of F1. Been left to Lewis to lead the charge again.

Let's be real, had Lewis Hamilton not called them out. They wouldn't have said anything.

You missed the caveat... *yet we’ll still continue to do business & hold races in Russia, China, Bahrain, Vietnam & Abu Dhabi as well as for pushing for a deal with Saudi Arabia. Because human rights & oppression doesn’t bother us when there’s $ to be made.

What about all of the roits, and looting. Nothing will be said about it? People’s businesses ruined by this. But nothing will be said about it?

Seems like a miscalculated PR stunt to me. I don't think F1 has any business talking about anything other than racing, considering that F1 races are regularly held in countries with questionable-at-best records in human rights and equality. Also, what does the tragic failure of American politics and law enforcement have to do with racing? This is all rather disappointing, but what can you expect from an American-owned series.

Let's fight against police brutality also! Why none entity can write it explicitly?

We have to fight against this racism together. And also against the police brutality.

Should have done this before Lewis accused the whole paddock of racism

Lewis Hamilton is the voice of F1

We are all one, we stand together as one. Respect to all. No matter the colour of your skin, region or beliefs. We are all one. ❤🌏

What is this about?

I hope this isn't supporting the beating of innocent people and the burning/looting of innocent peoples businesses!

they're not gonna buy tickets or subscriptions, bro.

This is the first time F1 has a “political” view on things. Next: terminate the contracts with China?

This is better I can support this message forever !!! Every other company charity and celebrity that are jumping on the band wagon can just do one ! Well done F1

Why do people get so angry when people try to say something good?

Looks as though LH got his way...whining works

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8 hrs ago


A #MotoGP legend returned to claim victory while new names stepped up in #Moto2 and #Moto3! 🙌

Enjoy the highlights from the #VirtualBritishGP! 🇬🇧
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10 hrs ago


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11 hrs ago


Shoulder barging, late braking and (in some cases) a total disregard for track limits! 😂

The #VirtualBritishGP re-wrote the rule book on overtaking! 🎮
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Hopefully some real action soon 🙏

MotoGP game is not at the level of the F1 . Why?

Terrible physics engine lol awful game

for 2020 the graphics and gameplay are pretty shit I have to say

Hahaha exceed track limits big time. Its not off-roading hahaha xxx

If there will be any races this year I bet you Spain only

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12 hrs ago

24H Series

The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

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The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

With the smallest possible team, we will make as much exciting TV as possible! 🎥 

Large parts of the race will be broadcast so that everyone can enjoy racing! 🏎️💨

Are you going to watch after waiting for so long? 😀

📅 12,13 & 14 June 

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