BARCELONA, Spain: Al Faisal al Zubair and Andy Soucek bring the curtain down on their first season of International GT Open racing together at this weekend’s final round in Barcelona.
The Lechner Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R duo have performed impressively together since the season began and head to the northern Spanish circuit with Soucek still holding a mathematical chance of sealing the title. Illness forced Al Zubair to miss the mid-season race meeting at the Hungaroring and he currently holds third in the series, 18 points behind his team-mate in the Drivers’ Championship.
The clear favourites to clinch the title are Michele Beretta and Frederick Schandorff at the helm of their Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini. The ever-consistent duo have won four races and lead Soucek by 22 points heading into a 70-minute race on Saturday and a one-hour finale on Sunday. Soucek would need non-finishes for the Lamborghini crew to stand a realistic chance of snatching the title at the 11th hour.
Saying that, it has still been a tremendous season thus far for the Omani and the Spaniard with a race one victory at Spa and a race two win at Imola already under their belts.
Belgium’s Baptiste Moulin and Japan’s Yuki Nemoto are their closest rivals after six rounds and 12 races on some of the most famous circuits in Europe.
Al Zubair said: “I am very excited to be back for the last round of the GT Open. It is great to be at a track like Barcelona, where we tested before. I think we will be quite strong. It’s been a great season and I am looking forward to ending it on a high. No matter what happens, we cannot complain about our first season in endurance racing. That will not stop us pushing flat out for the last round.”
Three practice sessions have been sanctioned in Barcelona for Friday (October 22) from 09.58hrs, 14.22hrs and 17.16hrs before the first 30-minute qualifying session for race one starts at 10.40hrs on Saturday morning.
After sharing the circuit with various Caterham and Euroformula racing disciplines, International GT Open race one fires into life with a rolling start at 14.55hrs.
The second 30-minute qualifying session is scheduled for the earlier time of 09.00hrs on Sunday (October 24) morning and precedes the one-hour second race, starting at 13.25hrs.
2021 International GT Open - overall standings after 12 races:
1. Frederick Schandorff (SUI)/Michele Beretta (ITA) 130 pts
2. Andy Soucek (ESP) 108 pts
3. Al-Faisal Al-Zubair (OMN) 90 pts
4. Baptiste Moulin (BEL/Yuki Nemoto (JPN) 85 pts
5. Ollie Millroy (GBR)/Brendan Iribe (USA) 67 pts
6. Loris Spinelli (ITA) 55 pts