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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Al Faisal-Schiller clinch top honours in race 1 in Barcelona

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Muscat – The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya


motorsport race track in Montmeló, Barcelona,


seems to be a happy hunting ground for Oman’s


talented racer Al Faisal al Zubair.


On Saturday, the Omani teamed up with German


Fabian Schiller to claim the top honours in race one


in the final round of the 2022 International GT Open


Series in their Mercedes AMG car.


Racing for GetSpeed Performance team as a guest


entry in the Pro category, the victory of Al Faisal and


Schiller meant that the fight for the overall title


between regular participants moves to the final


race of the series later on Sunday.


Al Faisal had competed in the International GT Open


last year and finished a creditable third overall with


a runner-up finish at the same venue in the final


round, but in a different car, Porsche.


Al Faisal recently concluded his maiden


participation season in the 2022 Fanatec GT


World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS –


Endurance Cup.


Al Faisal Al Zubair, teammate Fabian Schiller and


Zimbabwe’s Axcil Jeffries rounded off their first


season together in the Fanatec GT World Challenge


Europe Powered by AWS – Endurance Cup by


finishing in fourth place in the Silver Cup category at


the season’s finale in Barcelona. The result also


confirmed that the Al Manar Racing trio finished


fourth in the final Silver Cup Drivers’ Championship.


On Saturday, GetSpeed Performance for Al Faisal Al


Zubair-Fabian Schiller, who took the pole and


dominated the race despite the 10-second handicap


for first appearance in the closing round.


They beat the Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911R of


Riccardo Cazzaniga-Klaus Bachler with the Oregon


Team Lamborghini of Benja Hites-Leo Pulcini third.


The championship leaders, Hites-Pulcini, made a


little step forward, as most direct rivals, Nick Moss-


Joe Osborne (Optimum Motorsport McLaren)


finished fifth. They are now separated by five net


points only.


Speaking after the strong victory, Al Faisal said:


“Honestly, what a way to start a weekend. A perfect


race, starting with the practice round and then a


pole with Schiller on the wheels.


“We were quite confident going into the race after


the strong display in practice and qualifying


sessions.”


Al Faisal added: “During the race, Schiller


maintained his dominance and came into the pits as


a leader. With 35 minutes to go, I completed the


race, keeping a good lead over the nearest rivals,


Riccardo Cazzaniga-Klaus Bachler in Porsche.


“So far, we had a great round and we hope to finish


off with a nice display on Sunday.”


At the start, Schiller keeps the advantage ahead of


Pulcini as Osborne jumped to third ahead early.


With a car going into the gravel in turn 10, safety


car came out. After the restart, in lap five, positions


remain unchanged at the top, with Schiller taking a


four-second advantage on Pulcini.


Safety car was back at the end of lap 10, as two cars


crashed. The race was restarted two laps later and


the pit stop window in lap 14 had Schiller in lead.


Al Faisal took over and despite a couple of stops,


finished the race as comfortable winner, seven


seconds ahead of Bachler and nine seconds on


Hites.


Earlier, in the qualifying, there was delay with the


start due to fog. But that was no issue for Fabian


Schiller. The fast German driver, on a guest


appearance with Al Faisal Al Zubair in one of the


Mercedes AMG of GetSpeed, took pole, setting a


time of 1.43.811.


“It’s been a perfect weekend so far’, Schiller said.


“The team has given us a car that goes perfectly on


this very nice track and we’ll see what happens


later,” he added.


Schiller’s only rivals for the pole were his GetSpeed


teammate Sébastian Baud and championship co-


leader Leonardo Pulcini in Lamborghini, who both


were provisionally in pole during the session.


Eventually, Pulcini took second, only 0s130 behind,


while the other GetSpeed Mercedes was third,


0s338 behind.


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