Last-lap contact dashes Al Faisal’s hopes of a top-eight finish in Italy

Al Faisal al Zubair drives his car (left) during the penultimate round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup on Sunday

Luck deserted Oman's Al Faisal al Zubair at the iconic Monza circuit in Italy on Sunday when a contact from a rival racer dashed the 20 year old's hopes of his career-best finish in the penultimate round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup.

It was frustrating for Al Faisal, who seemed on course for his best performance of his fledgling career in the Super Cup as he was placed eighth with just a lap to finish at Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

However, the Lechner Racing Team Middle East driver lost that position after being clouted from rear by Julien Andlauer.

The resulting impact sent the Omani’s car spinning down the track while his rival snatched eighth place.

Al Faisal did manage to finish the race as he recovered control of his GT3 but could cross the finish line only in 16th position.

Thomas Preining claimed a third successive Super Cup victory, but a second place for series leader Michael Ammermüller enabled the German to extend his championship lead over Nick Yelloly heading into a six-week break. Mattia Drudi finished third.

Later a dejected Al Faisal said, “It was a great race until the last lap when I got hit from behind and could do nothing about it. I really don’t know how it happened. Sometimes you need to put the pace and the performance into a result. It is very disappointing to miss out a top-eight finish in this way.”

Following the discounting of Andlauer’s times from Saturday’s qualifying session because of a technical violation, Al Faisal was promoted to tenth on a grid of 30 cars.

Fourteen laps and around 80km of racing lay ahead. Al Faisal stunned his rivals by moving up to seventh soon after the start. However, at the start of lap three, the Omani slipped back to tenth.

Al Faisal was passed by Dylan Pereira on lap six and was pegged back to 11th position but the young Omani regained tenth place heading into the second half of the race.

Al Faisal then moved up into ninth place heading into the last lap and climbed a place further in the final lap before contact woes plummeted him to 16th place. Only 24 cars reached the finish.

The final two rounds of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup will take place in Mexico City next month.

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