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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1 hr ago


How cool is this?! 😮😍
Drone footage of the new MCL35 - McLaren 👏👏👏
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A Drone faster than a MCL 🤔 2020 won't be a good year for McLaren..

Been thinking about why not f1 and others have integrated this yet? Helicopter shots are great but this is another necessary dimension.

Really amazing footage, specially at low speed corners at the chicane.. wow !!

SUCH a cool shot! I want more of this!!! That poor McLaren was really waiting on the drone though! 😂

I would love to build a copter that can easily keep up with F1 and shoot proper vid. If someone covers the costs that is 😉

Williams will be green with envy looking at the drone 😁

Drone shots would be good, but what happens when the signal fails and the drone drops on the track. Or theres a mechanical fault and the drone drops on track. Or the battery runs out and the drone drops on track.

That should be a sport! Drones racing around an F1 circuit. Did you see that cornering?

Drone didn't respect the track limits , 5 sec penalty

We need this type of footages live on race days. "Wheel to wheel" battles might look cool from this angles...

Drones are very fast. Especially the ones are custom made can easily catch an F1. Maybe not a full 300kmh but up to 200kmh. All in bling of an eye.

Fantastic, it would be nice if it were broadcast like that. how exciting that sound. Beautiful MacLaren, and that sound, it's really good to hear

More impressed at the skills of the drone pilot 😂

That needs to be how they cover the races on television. That is spectacular and definitely entertaining.

How can a drone keep up with an F1 engine? It's the most advanced technology in the history of the planet...comon...

Carlos driving the McLaren...maybe Lando is driving the drone🤔. McLaren's children are still playing, for sure😃

I vote for drone cameras for the starting grid for lights out!

Think the drone was beyond track limits there...

Ive been flying drones over Open Wheelers for 3 years now. Just finished TRS 2020. We've done both live stream and record for post shows.

Is this a preview of "Formula Drone"

This make it looks slow... keep copter view when skyview is needed

Be great if they added this as a live camera on race weekends

Just highlights how gash that new final complex is at Barcelona They should go back to the original last 2 corners for better opportunities to overtake after the final turn

Wow! Would be great if they add this view while broadcasting.

How is this drone keeping up with the speed of a F1 car?! 😮🧐

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2 hrs ago

24H Series

VORTEX V8 will be joning us again this season! The French team that build their own cars will be joining multiple races this season. The team will join with their Vortex Light V8's at:

🇮🇹: 1x 12H Monza,
🇵🇹: 1x 24H Portimao,
🇫🇷: 2x 9H Paul Ricard,
🇪🇸: 2x 24H Barcelona and
🇮🇹: 2x 12H Imola

Great news coming from France!

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #12hmonza #24HPORTIMAO #9hpaulricard #24hbarcelona #12himola #24hseries2020
... See Less

VORTEX V8 will be joning us again this season! The French team that build their own cars will be joining multiple races this season. The team will join with their Vortex Light V8s at:

🇮🇹: 1x 12H Monza,
🇵🇹: 1x 24H Portimao,
🇫🇷: 2x 9H Paul Ricard,
🇪🇸: 2x 24H Barcelona and
🇮🇹: 2x 12H Imola

Great news coming from France! 

#thisisendurance #24hseries #12HMONZA #24HPORTIMAO #9HPAULRICARD #24HBARCELONA #12HIMOLA #24HSeries2020

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Great news! This little pretty car is a nice presence in series 👍

3 hrs ago


🇯🇵 Suzuki starts from maiden pole!
💢 Sasaki tangles with Garcia!
🔝 Arbolino edges ahead!

Watch the eventful early exchanges as #Moto3 arrived at Misano in 2019!

#SanMarinoGP 🇸🇲
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Tutondele papa a foto diaku diambote


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