Oman’s newest motor racing talent Al Faisal Al Zubair produced a strong conclusion to the first weekend of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East in Bahrain on Saturday, 19th November, with the runner-up spot in the GCC Rookie class during the second of the event’s two contests.
Having scorched to a fantastic ‘rookie’ victory during round one on Friday, 18th November, the youngster from Muscat had a tougher challenge on his hands from 10th on the overall grid in round two but again produced a determined and committed performance.
Ending the contest as second GCC Rookie, Al Faisal took the chequered flag at the end of 12 highly entertaining laps in ninth position overall and fourth in the Silver class – only just missing out on the Silver top three by a fraction of a second at the line.
“I made a good start, then lost some ground before gaining it back again, but after a few laps I got stuck behind a slower car”, explained the Porsche newcomer, “It would have been nice to win the Rookie class again, but second was a good result for me and a very strong start to the season.
“It’s been a very good learning curve this weekend, there are so many positive things for us to take away from Bahrain. I’m very pleased with my results, I’ve really liked racing the Porsche for the first time and we can now take a lot of confidence and motivation to Dubai.”
Unlike Friday evening’s floodlit race, round two took place in the daytime and after moving up into ninth place overall on the first lap Al Faisal initially pursued Bahraini racer Isa Al Khalifa before then becoming embroiled in a battle with German driver Wolfgang Triller from lap three onward.
Trading places on several occasions, Al Faisal was certainly the quicker of the two but, in the end, he just missed out on a top three Silver class finish by a mere 0.2 seconds. The duo were also a full seven seconds clear of the chasing pack.
Al Faisal will be back in competitive action at the wheel of his 460bhp Porsche three weeks from now, on Friday, 9th December, and Saturday, 10th December, at Dubai Autodrome in the UAE for rounds three and four of the season.
He goes into the second race weekend of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East season just two points shy of the top of the GCC Rookie championship standings.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East GCC Rookie Standings (after Rd2):
2nd Al Faisal Al Zubair, 26pts
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East