Al Faisal extends lead

DUBAI: Headline-grabbing Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East racer Al Faisal al Zubair ended the first half of the 2016-17 season at Dubai Autodrome on January 28 with an enhanced lead in both the GCC Rookie Class and Silver Class.
Added to his outstanding second place overall finish and double class win in round five on January 27, the 18-year-old from Muscat produced stunning pace during the second of the weekend’s contests and came within just a handful of laps of climbing the outright podium again.
Unfortunately, hopes of a deserved top three results were ended during the final third of the race when contact from an overly ambitious rival resulted in a significant delay for the Omani. With excellent composure, though, Al Faisal charged back through the order from 11th place to finish seventh overall and also claim second place in both the GCC Rookie Class and Silver Class.
“Today was disappointing with the contact but, actually, it was a really good weekend overall and I’m very happy with our pace,” said the Omani, “We were P3 for most of the race but even after the incident with the other driver, I had really good pace — we were on old tyres — and made some good overtakes. We were only about 0.4 seconds away from the pace of the guys on new tyres.
“I think we could have been a lot higher than seventh, we had a great chance of another [outright] podium but it’s still been a great weekend. I’ve increased my lead in the Silver Class and the GCC Rookie Class, so I’m obviously very happy about that.”
Qualifying fourth fastest, posting the exact same time as third quickest driver Bandar al Esayi, the first year Porsche driver made a smart getaway from the grid, as he did in Friday’s race, and worked his way into third place overall where he remained for the bulk of the encounter.
Maintaining position well as the race reached two thirds distance, as Al Faisal ran side-by-side with a rival his Porsche was tagged by another driver’s car which dropped him outside the top 10. Determined to undo as much of the damage as possible, the teenager scythed his way through into seventh place and, most importantly, the runner-up spot in the GCC Rookie Class and Silver Class. Ending the first half of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East season fifth in the main driver standings, just four points shy of the top four, Al Faisal has boosted his GCC Rookie Class lead to 27 points and his Silver Class lead is seven points.
Rounds seven and eight of the championship will take place at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Friday, 10th February, and Saturday, 11th February.

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East GCC Rookie Standings (after Rd6):
1st Al Faisal al Zubair, 99pts

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Silver Class Standings (after Rd6):
1st Al Faisal al Zubair, 99pts

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Overall Standings (after Rd6):
5th Al Faisal al Zubair, 99pts