Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup newcomer Al Faisal Al Zubair built on a strong championship debut in race one of the 2017 season at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain with an even better performance in the second outing of the weekend on Sunday, 14th May, to secure an excellent top 12 points result.
Beginning round two of the campaign from 21st on the grid, the FZ Racing driver produced tremendous pace a match for many of the lead contenders and delivered terrific racecraft on his way to a richly deserved 13th place finish. As a result of one of his rival competitors being classified as a non-scoring ‘guest’ driver, Al Faisal actually departed Barcelona with the points for 12th spot.
“I’m very happy”, said the elated Omani, “I kind of hoped we could have had a result like this one on Saturday too, but it’s great to have gone from 21st to 13th and I was really pleased with my pace all the way through. We were very close to the performance of a lot of the quick guys.
“I moved up three positions on the first lap and made some good moves, I went around the outside of a couple of drivers who were battling and got into P18. The pace was really good, it meant I was catching, overtaking and just going after the next person all the time. Barcelona is quite a difficult circuit to overtake on, so I’m very happy with what I was able to do.”
Qualifying 21st fastest of the 31 drivers for race two certainly didn’t tell the whole story as the Omani’s best lap of 1m50.937 seconds was only a mere 0.020 seconds shy of 18th quickest Ryan Cullen, a rival from Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. Underlining the competitiveness of the Supercup, Al Faisal’s time was also only 0.8 seconds shy of the top four.
At the start of round two, the Red Bull Oman supported racer made a good launch and went on to put together an entertaining and successful opening lap. Slicing past no fewer than three cars on the first tour, Al Faisal climbed into 18th position and quickly set about making up more ground.
By the midway point of the race he had climbed into the top 15 and the 19-year-old duly picked off three more cars on his way to 13th place at the flag on lap 14. Reeling off outstanding lap times, his best of the race, 1m53.469 seconds, was just 0.4 seconds shy of the quickest managed by fourth placed finisher and two-time Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion Dan Cammish.
“It’s been a great end to my first weekend in the Porsche Supercup”, said Al Faisal, “I have to say thank you to everyone for their support and to the guys at the team for giving me a really great car in Barcelona. Now we go to Monaco, a track every driver wants to race at – I can’t wait for that.”
Rounds three and four of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season will mark the most prestigious races of Al Faisal’s career to date, a visit to the world-famous streets of Monte-Carlo on 27th/28th May.
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. Mumtaz Albalushi