Times of Oman
Oman motorsport: Al Faisal finishes 13th and 12th in Porsche Carrera Cup races in Germany
September 10, 2017 | 3:48 PM
by Times News Service
Oman's Al Faisal Al Zubair, front, experienced his first wet race conditions at the Nurburgring Sprint circuit. Photo - Reuters
 
Sharelines

Nurburgring: Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair experienced vastly different track conditions in the two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany at the Nurburgring Sprint circuit on Saturday evening and Sunday lunchtime.

The talented rookie finished the shorter Sprint race in wet conditions in 13th position and went on to reach the chequered flag in the longer 23-lap feature race in 12th place on his first ever appearance in Germany’s premier one-make racing series.

Britain’s Nick Yelloly held off a fierce challenge from Dennis Olsen in race one, but the Norwegian returned the favour in race two after pole sitter Christopher Zöchling missed out on the win in both races and finished third in race two.

“In general the experience was good, but I wanted better results from these two races,” said FZ Racing’s Al Faisal. “I didn’t help myself by having a really bad start in the second race. I lost a few positions and I managed to get back into a good pace. But it’s all good experience for the future.”



Al Zubair lined up in 12th position for the first of the two races on Saturday evening, with Zochling in pole position from Yelloly and Christian Engelhart. It was raining again at the start and spray was sure to be an issue over the opening laps.

Zochling maintained his lead through the opening turns and to the end of the opening lap, with Yelloly in second, Michael Ammermuller climbing to third and Al Zubair slipping back to 15th in heavy traffic. Wolf Nathan survived a spin and slipped to the rear of the 25-car field.

The leaders held station through laps two, three, four and five, but Al Zubair lost a place to 16th and Olsen began to pressurise the tail of Ammermuller’s Porsche. Yelloly eventually managed to find a way passed the leader, as Al Zubair also climbed a place to 15th and then moved up to 13th after Thomas Preining suffered front end damage after a collision and retired.

Zochling was unable to hold his position on the next lap and was overtaken by Ammermuller, Olsen and Engelhart and slipped to fifth place. Al Zubair was a solid 13th through 10 laps. Olsen found a way passed Ammermuller as well to shadow Yelloly into lap 12 and the Norwegian held on to finish second in front of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup leader, as Yelloly claimed the win by 2.327 seconds and Al Zubair finished 13th.

Al Zubair said: “Race one was the shorter of the two races and they took the second fastest qualifying lap, which meant that I started 12th not 10th. My start wasn’t great and it was my first time racing in the Porsche in heavy rain. It was quite difficult to get used to it over the first couple of laps, but I found a good pace after that and it was fine at the end. People were cutting the corner at the chicane and getting away with it without penalties. I was not sure what was legal and what was not.”

For the longer 23-lap second race, Al Zubair started in 10th position with Zochling and Yelloly on the front row of the grid in dry but chilly and cloudy conditions.

Both the pole sitter and Al Zubair made poor starts and Yelloly managed to find a way through and into the lead at the second turn. Al Zubair lost two places to 12th on the opening lap and Olsen also overtook Zochling to snatch second place.

Zaid Ashkanani was forced into the pits to retire after two laps, Carlos Rivas survived a high-speed spin, as Yelloly continued to lead from Olsen and Zochling through four laps. Al Zubair slipped back to 13th, but Zochling made a stunning manoeuvre to regain the lead from Yelloly and Olsen only to miss his braking point soon afterwards and slip back to third behind Olsen and Yelloly.

Al Zubair retained 13th and began to pressurise Toni Wolf as the leading group held station through 13 laps. Olsen held his nerve over the remaining tours to reach the chequered flag 1.919 seconds ahead of Yelloly in what developed into a processional finish to the longer of the two races. Zochling finished third, but there was a late spin on lap 20 for Engelhart as Al Zubair crossed the finish line ahead of Wolf in 12th.

STAY UPDATED
Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news