Porsche GT3 Cup series heads for action-packed weekend in Abu Dhabi
12.12.2011: Pressure mounting on title favourite Abdulaziz as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East headlines at Yas Marina Circuit
Pressure mounting on title favourite Abdulaziz as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East headlines at Yas Marina Circuit
Prince Abdulaziz knows there is no room for error as the Porsche GT3 Cup series headlines at Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East is set to deliver two days of intriguing race action when the 2011-12 season reaches its half way point at Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.
After four intensely competitive rounds which have produced four separate race winners, the Porsche one-make series returns as the headline attraction in Abu Dhabi, with five drivers all looking to steal the limelight in Rounds 5-6 on Thursday and Friday.
While he once again leads the championship which he is attempting to win for the second time in three years, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal knows there will be no room for error as the series makes its second visit to the UAE capital in just over a month.
He had to settle for two podium places during last month’s Formula One weekend in Abu Dhabi, and is being eagerly pursued by the last two race winners, fellow-Saudi Bandar Alesayi and Oman’s Ahmed Al Harthy.
They are both looking to increase the pressure on Prince Abdulaziz who also faces the challenge of Stephane Lemeret, the Belgian driver aiming for a first series victory for Dubai-based Al Nabooda Racing.
Meanwhile, talented Austrian driver Clemens Schmid returns to the starting grid in Abu Dhabi, and while he will not play a full part in the championship, he does want to add to his first round victory at Dubai Autodrome.
It all adds up to a big test of character and concentration for title favourite Abdulaziz, although he is well prepared for a fierce title battle which could continue all the way to the series finish line in Bahrain at the end of March.
He looked in a class of his own when he secured the Porsche GT3 Cup drivers crown in 2009-10, dominating the inaugural season by winning nine of 12 rounds.
Bandar Alesayi is one of four drivers aiming to pile the pressure on the title favourite in Abu Dhabi
As the competition intensified last season, he was edged out for the title by Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa, despite recording another six race victories.
With a third of the current season now gone and just a second round victory to his credit, Prince Abdulaziz will also be feeling the heat in the two qualifying sessions on Thursday and Friday.
After grabbing pole position seven times in 2009-10 and five times last season, he has been fastest in qualifying just once in this season’s four rounds, three of which have been won by the driver starting first on the grid.
There could also be pressure at Yas Marina Circuit for Qatar’s Saddon Al Kuwari, who is protecting a 100 per cent record in the Mobil 1 Trophy for drivers over 45. Last year’s winner, German driver Hannes Waimer, is keen to break Al Kuwari’s winning sequence.
Qatar’s Saddon Al Kuwari – looking to extend his winning sequence in the Mobil 1Trophy in the UAE capital.
Championship positions after Round 4
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons 72pts 2. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Alesayi Racing 68pts 3. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM) Oman Air Racing 66pts 4. Stephane Lemeret (BEL) Al Nabooda Racing 58pts 5. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons 46pts 6. Saddon Al Kuwari (QA) 34pts 7. Mark Thomas (CAN) 27pts 8. Hans Guido Riegel (GER) Haribo Racing 24pts 9. Hannes Waimer (GER) 23pts 10. Clemens Schmid (AUT) 20pts 10. Armin Schmid CH Team TCE
Mobil 1 Trophy
1. Sadoon Al Kuwari (QA) 80pts 2. Hannes Waimer (GER) 63pts 3. Hans Guido Riegel (GER) Haribo Racing 62pts 4. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 54pts 4. Rob Frijns (NL) 44pts 6. Manfred Ender (AUT) 33pts 7. Jaber Al Khalifa (BAH) 22pts 8. Alain Muraour (F) 10pts
Total Communications, Tony Lewis/Ahmad Huzayen, also photos
Al Harthy thanks rally ace for guiding his career as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East heads back to Abu DhabiOman’s Ahmad Al Harthy – looking for more Porsche GT3 Cup race success in Abu Dhabi later this month.Ahmad Al weiter >>
After four different winners in first four rounds, title race is wide open in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Walter Lechner - says there is little to separate the top few drivers.The Porsche GT3 Cup Chall weiter >>
....in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Abdulaziz must turn up the power in Porsche GT3 Cup title racePrince Abdulaziz will be aiming to increase his championship lead in Abu Dhabi.Saudi Arabia’s weiter >>
....but wants quick improvement in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastOmani rises to Porsche GT3 Cup challenge on F1 weekendAhmad Al Harthy was delighted with his debut display in the Porsche GT3 Cup series in Dubai weiter >>
Abdulaziz clinches pole position in Porsche GT3 Cup seriesPrince Abdulaziz Al Faisal – claimed pole position for Round 1 of the Porsche GT3 Cup seriesSaudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal produced a superb drive to clinch weiter >>
Saudi drivers grab two podium places as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East launches new season in DubaiThe battle for the lead at the first corner Austrian Clemens Schmid grabbed victory in Round 1 of the Porsche GT3 Cu weiter >>
Prince Abdulaziz aims for flying start to Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East in Dubai
The stage is set for an intriguing start to the 2011-12 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Dubai Autodrome this weekend, with the title race seemingly wide weiter >>
UAE racing team to make Dubai debut in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Karim Al Azhari (right), Stephane Lemeret (left) and Al Nabooda Racing Team Manager Vijay Rao.Al Nabooda Racing has joi weiter >>
Saudi’s Prince Abdulaziz, Oman’s Al Harthy test new cars in countdown to Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastOman’s Ahmad Al Harthy testing his Porsche GT3 Cup car at Yas Marina Circuit in preparation for the star weiter >>
....of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastSalman clinches Porsche GT3 Cup title Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa is the new champion in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East after a dramatic last weekend of racing in t weiter >>
Saudi’s defending champion wins Round 7 of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East to close gap on Bahraini leaderTop three on the podium: Abdulaziz (centre) with Salman (right) and Al Qubaisi.Saudi Arabia’s defending ch weiter >>
Abdulaziz aims to pile pressure on Salman, but both are aware of Qubaisi threat in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastSheikh Salman – targeting three wins at Yas Marina CircuitBahrain’s Sheik weiter >>
Wohlbehalten aus dem „Pulverfass“ Bahrain ist heute der Österreicher Walter Lechner zurück gekehrt: Der Salzburger Motorsport-Unternehmer, der seit einigen Jahren für Porsche im Mittleren Osten tätig ist, reiste heute wie geplant nach Ö weiter >>
Prince Abdulaziz scores Porsche GT3 Cup win as Salman retains series lead Abdulaziz – cruised to victory unaware of the drama behindSaudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal cruised to a comfortable victory in Round 6 of the Porsc weiter >>
... of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastAbdulaziz fights back to grab pole position again in SaudiAbdulaziz – claims pole position for the second day runningSaudi Arabia’s defending champ weiter >>
...in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East as Abu Dhabi’s Al Qubaisi, teenager Algosaibi land podium placesSalman scores dramatic Porsche GT3 Cup victory in SaudiSheikh Salman – dramatic victory weiter >>
...in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastPorsche GT3 Cup title race heats up in SaudiSheikh Salman is aiming to extend his championship leadThe 2010-11 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East r weiter >>
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastQubaisi tipped to mount big Porsche GT3 Cup title bid as series returns to SaudiIbrahim Salloum – has been helped by fellow drivers to prepare for his first appearance at Reem I weiter >>
Record-breaker Fahad aims for winning return to SaudiFahad Algosaibi - stepping up his bid for the Porsche GT3 Cup title Record-breaking teenager Fahad Algosaibi has set his sights on a winning return to Saudi Arabia next month in th weiter >>
Porsche GT3 Cup champion under pressure as series heads back to Saudi The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East returns to Saudi Arabia next month with Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal now in no doubt about the severity of the test he faces as he tries to retain his title.After four rounds of the 2009-10 season, having won three races an weiter >>
Abdulaziz shrugs off brave bid by Abu Dhabi driver Al Qubaisi in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Prince Abdulaziz celebrates on the podium with Al Qubaisi (left) and Algosaibi. Saudi Arabia& weiter >>
Bahraini driver wins third round of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Bahrain International CircuitSheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa looked strong as he made his way to a first place on the podium for Round 3 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Chal weiter >>
Saudi’s defending champion fastest in qualifying for third round of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East The defending champion wins the pole position of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Round 3 in Bahrain International C weiter >>
UAE driver records fastest practice time in Porsche GT3 Cup
Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi on his way to setting the fastest time in official practice in the Porsche GT3 Cup series at Bahrain International Circuit today weiter >>
Teenager who made history in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East is raring to go as series returns to BahrainFahad Algosaibi made racing history last season and is one of the region’s top young driversFahad Algosabi, the teen weiter >>
Bahraini driver wants to make amends for last year’s home setbacks in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Sheikh Salman wants to wipe out bitter memories from 12 months ago in Bahrain Bahrain’s Sheikh S weiter >>
Before the start of Round 2 in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, FIA Vice President Mohammed Ben Sulayem visited the GT3 Cup pits at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi and chatted with drivers including Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Kh weiter >>
Bahraini driver edges out reigning champion in first round of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastSheikh Salman heads Prince Abdulaziz and Al Qubaisi on his way to victory Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin weiter >>
Bahraini driver fastest off the mark as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East launches new season in Abu DhabiThe drivers line up with their brand new 2011 Porsche GT3 Cup cars before official practice at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi today weiter >>
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East enters new season alongside Formula One decider in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Salman can’t wait for the start of the new Porsche GT3 Cup season in Abu Dhabi this weekend.Bahrain’s Sheikh weiter >>
Porsche GT3 Cup champion Abdulaziz hopes to inspire young Saudi’s as motor sport heads for bright future in KingdomPrince Abdulaziz – wants to inspire young Saudi drivers.Saudi Arabia‘s latest Middle East champion driv weiter >>
Veteran race star aims to grow Porsche race series
Walter Lechner – former racing star is thrilled to be driving the new Porsche one-make series in the Middle EastWalter Lechner, the former motor racing weiter >>
Abu Dhabi driver follows overseas learning curve towards new title race in Porsche GT3 Cup series
Khaled Al Qubaisi - following a sharp learning curveAbu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi is counting on a weiter >>
Porsche series champion expects tough title defence
Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal, the first Porsche GT3 Cup Middle East champion, with his trophy at last night's official prize giving in Bahrain. weiter >>
Porsche series set for new season F1 boost in Abu Dhabi
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East will launch its second series alongside the 2010 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit. weiter >>
Porsche GT3 CUP Challenge Middle-EastRound 12 results: 1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA), Al Faisal Racing Team 23:14.4742. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH) 23:17.8893. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA), ClassicArabia Racing   weiter >>