Muscat: The symbolic halfway stage is expected to be a major motivator for the Middle East’s top racers as they prepare to sprint to the finish, and the top honours that await, in the region’s most professional and most competitive racing series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
Omani driver Al Faisal Al Zubair has had a very impressive start to the championship in his debut year. The 18-year-old driver, who is racing the Porsche GT3 Cup car for the first time, has wasted no time in getting to grips with the series and throwing himself amongst the high level of competition.
Al Zubair goes into the halfway stage of the season leading both the Silver and the Porsche GCC Rookie categories. After a season best second place finish in the most recent round at the Dubai Autodrome, Al Zubair sits only 13 points away from a top three spot in the overall standings.
With a chance to win both the Porsche GCC Rookie and silver categories, and a potential top three finish in the overall standings, this could be the perfect debut year for the teenage sensation.
Speaking at the halfway stage of the season, Al Faisal Al Zubair said, “It has been a very strong opening half to the season for me, and apart from a few disappointing results, I am extremely pleased with what I have achieved and learnt so far. I have tried to take everything on board as quickly as I can, implementing what I am being taught directly into each race. I know I have the speed now to compete with the fastest drivers in the competition and I will be focusing on continuing to improve my qualifying times to give myself the best opportunity of winning a race. I am looking forward to the second half of the season, and want to finish as high as I possibly can.”
After a pulsating opening three rounds of race action already Season 8 has all the hallmarks of a classic with a grid full of exciting new local talent perfectly balanced in amongst international stars and seasoned veterans, all racing their hearts out on some of the world’s most exciting circuits.
Right from the first lights out in Bahrain at the end of last year, the competition has been enthralling with only the most recent round at Dubai Autodrome giving any breathing space to the drivers at the top of table.
Ireland’s Ryan Cullen (140 points) sits in pole position of the driver standings by just 17 points but with a possible 50 on offer in the upcoming Round 4. Second placed Charlie Frijns (123 points) will be confident he can repeat his early Season 8 form and challenge for a title which has eluded him for a number of years.
In the silver category the halfway stage of the series’ eighth edition sees Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair (99 points) just 7 points ahead of his nearest rival, Bandar Alesayi (92 points) of Saudi Arabia, while in Bronze it’s just 5 points between the top racer Isa S. Al Khalifa (72 points), and Magnus Öhman (67 points) in second.