The longest running motorsport series in the Middle East will celebrate an historic 10th season with the introduction of a title sponsor for the first time, thanks to a new partnership with Best Water Technology (BWT).
The championship will now be known as the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, as announced by series Manager Walter Lechner at the recently held Emirates Motorsport Expo at the Dubai Autodrome. The Austrian stalwart, who is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the sport with over forty-years of experience, revealed details of the title sponsor and several new enhancements designed to increase competition and track time.
Since its inception in 2009 the series, which is organised by Lechner Racing on behalf of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, has dominated professional racing in the region sitting at the pinnacle of the sport.
For a decade it has guided and inspired a diverse group of talented rookies, emerging stars and veterans by offering a chance to compete at the highest possible standards. Some of the region’s most prodigious talents, such a Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz AlFaisal, Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani and reigning champion Al Faisal Al Zubair of Oman, all realized their potential by progressing through the ranks of the Porsche one-make series.
Now Season 10 is poised to elevate the international status of the championship even further, courtesy of an exciting new format and new schedule alongside the introduction of the new title sponsor, BWT.
Speaking on the new partnership, Manager of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and Lechner Racing, Walter Lechner said: “There could be no better way to celebrate our tenth season than to welcome such a distinguished and passionate partner like BWT. Their title sponsorship represents so much more than a new name and logo. It’s a statement of intent by a trusted and enthusiastic supporter of motorsport who share our vision for growth. For any aspiring driver who wants the ultimate challenge and opportunity, regardless of skill level, now is the time to join us on the grid.”
In previous editions, the season consisted of twelve races held over six intense weekends on the world-class circuits of the Middle East. But the forthcoming season is ready to offer the stiffest test yet with four further race outings added to the schedule. Season 10 will now comprise of sixteen races across six weekends, held between the Dubai Autodrome, Yas Marina Circuit and Bahrain International Circuit.
The new season gets underway at the Dubai Autodrome on 16th November, before moving to Bahrain International Circuit the following weekend. The championship will then head back to the UAE to test drivers again in Dubai followed by Yas Marian Circuit, with the final decisive rounds in Bahrain. The season will conclude with an official support race to the 2019 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in March 2019, the only regional racing series to do so.
“Since our first race back in 2009 until present day, Porsche and Lechner Racing have been on a mission to bring world-class motorsport to the Middle East and to develop the skills of all who compete. It has taken a decade of hard work and support from many parties to achieve this. But we’re entering a new era with new strength and momentum as highlighted by a new title sponsor. Season 10 sees more track time and more competition with four further races, so every aspect is shifting up a gear to get bigger and better”, added Lechner.
“I firmly believe an international platform has been firmly built upon which the entire sport can flourish, especially with the backing of a sponsor like BWT who share our values and commitment to constantly set new standards. This is good news for everyone in motorsport in the region.”
The Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East is recognised as having a profound impact on the sports development as it was the first regional championship backed by a manufacturer in the Middle East. It gives official drivers access to the latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, the same model used for international motorsport editions, such as the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the official F1 support race.
Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East 2018/19 Calendar
Dates, Round/ Circuit, Number of Races
16.-17.11.2018, Round 1: Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, 3
07.-08.12.2018, Round 2: Bahrain Int. Circuit, Bahrain, 3
25.-26.01.2019, Round 3: Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, 3
01.-02.02.2019, Round 4: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, 2
08.-09.03.2019, Round 5: Bahrain Int. Circuit, Bahrain, 3
30.-31.03.2019, Round 6: Bahrain Int. Circuit, Bahrain, 2