Muscat: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East racer Al Faisal Al Zubair wrapped-up an outstanding weekend of action at Dubai Autodrome with his second GCC Rookie Class victory of the event during round four on Saturday.
Claiming his third GCC Rookie win in just four races, the 18-year-old Omani also finished second in the Silver Class during Saturday afternoon’s contest and went on to end the encounter sixth overall with a determined performance.
Added to his sensational outright top three result from Friday’s race, the talented Arab driver has moved into the overall championship top five and has also rocketed into a significant lead at the top of the GCC Rookie standings, as well as moving to the head of the Silver class championship.
“It’s good we showed we had the pace this weekend and I’m happy to have finished P6, second in the Silver class and first in the GCC Rookie class”, said Al Faisal, “It’s been a very strong weekend overall and it’s great to be leading the GCC Rookie championship and Silver championship. Now the aim is to bring it on for the next round when we’ll be back in Dubai next month.”
During the second free practice session of the weekend on Saturday morning, the Muscat teenager continued to lap in among the lead contenders with the sixth fastest time overall – just over a tenth of a second outside the top four. Naturally, that pace was easily good enough to be fastest Rookie.
In the all-important round four qualifying session later in the morning, Al Faisal steered his powerful Porsche racer to the GCC Rookie pole position once again, third in the Silver class, with the seventh best lap overall.
Although not making the start he wanted to Saturday’s race, slipping back to eighth position and fourth in Silver, Al Faisal soon hit back and climbed into seventh again and into the podium placings for the Silver class.
Instantly pulling well clear of the chasing pack, the Omani closed on Wolfgang Triller and into lap seven there was nothing to separate the two. Slicing past to climb into sixth position overall, and second in the Silver class, Al Faisal remained there to the flag to net another GCC Rookie win.
“Qualifying for race two wasn’t as good, it was quite dusty and I didn’t hook a lap up so it wasn’t the best”, reflected Al Faisal, “For the race we were on used tyres, most of the guys in front were on new ones, and I did lose a position at the start. I got back past, though, and then caught and passed [Wolfgang] Triller. I started to catch the guys ahead, but they were just too far away by that point.”
Dubai Autodrome will also host the third event of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East season, rounds five and six, on January 27 and 28.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East GCC Rookie Standings (after Rd4): 1. Al Faisal Al Zubair 62 pts.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Silver Class Standings (after Rd4): 1. Al Faisal Al Zubair, 62 pts.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Overall Standings (after Rd4): 5. Al Faisal Al Zubair 62 pts.