Omani racing driver Al Faisal Al Zubair, points leader in both the GCC Rookie and Silver classes of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, is eyeing nothing less than another haul of silverware when the spectacular championship resumes on Friday, 27th January, and Saturday, 28th January.
Returning to Dubai Autodrome in the United Arab Emirates a week from now, the venue for the previous two races in mid-December, the 18-year-old from Muscat is brimming with confidence after his strongest outing by far last time out.
Not only starring in his respective classes during the first of the category’s back-to-back visits to Dubai, with a brace of GCC Rookie wins and his maiden Silver class victory, Al Faisal raced to his first outright Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East podium in round three of the season.
Qualifying on the second row of the grid with the fourth fastest time, the Omani ran as high as second place during the first half of the encounter before eventually finishing in, a nonetheless impressive, third position.
Ahead of rounds five and six next weekend, Al Faisal feels confident he can build on the superb performances delivered so far in his maiden season of Porsche racing and also try and put some distance between himself and his rivals in the respective title battles.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to be leading the GCC Rookie Class and Silver Class”, said the Omani, “I obviously wanted to begin the championship as strongly as possible and I’m determined to keep the momentum going when we head back to Dubai next week.
“The first two events were very good for us, I think I’ve adapted from single-seaters to Porsche racing pretty well, and I’m confident we should be able to repeat the sort of pace and performance next weekend which we showed in Dubai last time. My main aim is to try and stay on top of the two class championships, but my first overall podium has given me a taste for more of that too!”
Turning heads since the pre-season test in Bahrain back in November, where he delivered outright top six pace, Al Faisal went on to take the opening round victory in the GCC Rookie Class – also at Sakhir in Bahrain – and then added two more Rookie victories during the first Dubai event. Going into the third race meeting of the campaign, he holds a 22 point lead in the GCC Rookie standings.
In the Silver class, meanwhile, the Omani heads Bandar Alesayi by a slim three point margin and in the overall Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East championship battle Al Faisal is an extremely impressive fifth – just three points shy of Dylan Pereira in the coveted top four.
Looking ahead to next weekend’s racing at Dubai Autodrome, round five of the championship is scheduled to begin at 15.05 (local time) on Friday, 27th January, with round six set to follow at 15.40 (local time) on Saturday, 28th January.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East GCC Rookie Standings (after Rd4):
1st Al Faisal Al Zubair, 62pts
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Silver Class Standings (after Rd4):
1st Al Faisal Al Zubair, 62pts
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Overall Standings (after Rd4):
5th Al Faisal Al Zubair, 62pts
Source. Marc Orme/Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East