Al Faisal and Soucek to bid for GT Open title

Muscat: Ahead of the International GT Open Winter Test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, due to be held on April 19-20, Lechner Racing’s CEO, Walter Lechner Jr, has expressed confidence in his team of Oman’s Al Faisal al Zubair and Spain’s Andy Soucek, as the team returns to the International GT Open 2021 campaign.
With a mix of youth and experience in Al Faisal and Soucek, the team has entered in the Pro category in Porsche latest GT3 model – the 911 GT3 R – and Lechner Jr is delighted to be back in the highly-competitive campaign over seven races.
In his remarks to the official website of the GT Open series, Lechner Jr said,
“We had planned to return to the championship already last year, but due to the difficult circumstances we postponed the commitment by a year.
“We have never had so much time to prepare for the season — from the race car to the truck, we rebuilt everything and are now even better prepared.
“After the big family loss [demise of founder Walter Lechner in December 2020], we’re sticking together even more and we’re sure we’ll have a spotter looking down from above.”
Walter Lechner was the man behind the successful Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East, which has been running for more than ten years and his team was the most victorious in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
For Al Faisal, who is just 22, Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East has been the shining example of his fledgling career, having won the event two times in a row (2018-19) and the Omani racer credits the Late Walter Lechner for supporting and guiding him.
Having had a fruitful partnership with Lechner Racing since 2018, Al Faisal has extended that partnership to a new stage in endurance racing.
The Omani driver is teaming up with 2009 Formula 2 champion and an experienced GT star in Soucek.
Al Faisal said, “After so many years of working with Lechner Racing in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East, I am looking forward to taking the next step on the international stage with the same team. My thoughts will often be with Walter Lechner Jr, from whom I learned everything at the beginning of my career and to whom I owe a lot.”
For Soucek, it was a dream to drive for an Austrian team. He said, “By joining Lechner Racing, the dream of driving for an Austrian team can finally come true. I believe we have a strong package, and I will try to use all my GT3 experience and know-how to be a valuable asset to the team.
“It’s also a pleasure to return to GT Sport events, an environment I know since my times in the Spanish Formula 3 championship which I won in 2005.”
Backed fully by Al Manar Financial Investments, Al Faisal is eager to be behind the wheels of his new car at the Winter Test before the series begins at the famed Paul Ricard circuit in France on May 16.
“The car is ready and I am eager to test it in Barcelona. This is my debut endurance series and I am all ready for the challenge along with Andy [Soucek].
“He brings in lot of experience and we are confident of making an impact in the series and achieve success.”
The series has been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with the organisers cancelling the opening round in Algarve, Portugal, on April 25. The race has been replaced by a race at Imola, Italy, in July.