Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East: Dominating Al Faisal keen to extend lead

Al Faisal al Zubair (inset) competes in his car during the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Series in Dubai earlier this month

Oman's talented Al Faisal al Zubair has been in terrific form in the 2018-19 Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East series, winning  seven of the nine races held so far in the three rounds.

With the fourth round, comprising two races, scheduled to be held at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE on February 1-2, defending champion Al Faisal, with 217 points, is looking to extend his strong 41-point lead over his nearest rival, Turkey's Berkay Besler (176). American Michael de Quesada  is overall third with 165.

The Walter Lechner Racing driver, and his countrymate, Khalid al Wahaibi, have steered Team Oman (359 pts) to a  massive 148-point lead over Team Sweden (211) in the Team Championship with seven races remaining in the championship that concludes in Bahrain in March.

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Khalid al Wahaibi in action during the Dubai round of the series

Khalid's improved performances has put him at overall joint fourth place  with 142 points along with J B Simmenauer.

In Abu Dhabi, Khalid is looking to improve upon his display following the last three races where he took fourth, fifth and eighth spots respectively in Dubai.

Speaking ahead of the Abu Dhabi race weekend, Al Faisal said, “I am not a big fan of this track. With Dylan (Pereira) joining the fray and competing in the two races, it will be a tough competition. My focus remains to defend the championship.”

Khalid said, “We struggled with race pace in the last two races in Dubai and that is something we are looking into. There is such a small margin of error in qualifying, so you learn a lot very quickly.

“My approach going in Yas Marina will be the same as it was in Dubai. I will try and get the most out of what we can in the two test days before the race weekend. Typically we are pretty strong at the start. I finished P4 there last year. I am looking for a better finish this time.”

Overall standings: 1 Al Faisal al Zubair (217 points), 2 Berkay Besler (176), 3 Michael de Quesada (165), 4 J B Simmenauer (142), 4 Khalid al Wahaibi (142), 6 Saul Hack (135), 7 Leon Koehler (112), 8 Magnus Oehman (107), 9 Christoffer Bergström (104), 10 Isa al Khalifa (93).

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