Muscat: While his own interests and ambitions for success in the silver category, where he currently sits second by only one point, are front of mind, Al Faisal Al Zubair, is hopeful that fellow drivers from the region will be following his progress in the final round with curiosity.
Speaking ahead of the conclusion to Season 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Al Zubair said, “It’s been an incredible season of racing for me in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. I have raced single seaters before, but getting into the Porsche GT3 Cup car was a totally new experience for me.
“I gave myself a set of objectives early on, mainly to enjoy the championship, learn as much as I could about the car, and ease my way into a different type of racing.
“After the first couple of races these all had to be reconsidered as with the help of my team I managed to achieve some very strong results early on. As a new driver to the championship, I was given the confidence to go out and compete against some of the most talented young drivers from the region and around the world, my driving has improved dramatically with each race and testing yourself in an environment like this is so beneficial for any driver’s development. ”
He added, “I want to win a trophy in my debut year as it would top off a great season of racing for me. But another big achievement would be to encourage other young drivers like myself from around the Middle East to get involved.
“It’s not easy, but racing in the region will continue to develop if people with a passion for racing believe they can actually get out on the track and do it, just like I did. If I can inspire more drivers of my age to follow their dreams of racing then that would be just as good as winning! ”
Drivers spanning more than ten nations, including host nation Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are expected to line up next month and enjoy the racing experience of a lifetime as part of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
Competing across multiple categories and over the challenging 5.4km GP circuit at Sakhir, the Middle East’s top drivers will line up in front of passionate racing fans, and from behind the wheel of the powerful Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for what is set to be a thrilling conclusion to Season 8 of the series.
Local motor races
As excitement builds for the finale. Walter Lechner, founder and head of Lechner Racing, the organisers of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, said the series wants to grow its role in developing local motor racers even further, “Eight seasons of competition and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge continues to go from strength to strength, building the skills of new racers in the Middle East.
“This year has set a new standard for excitement and we’re hopeful that young fans following the series live at the tracks, in the newspapers, magazines, through our feature length TV show airing across the region, and the highlights packages we create for social media, are excited by what they see.
“We all know this is a region which is passionate about motorsport, but we want to get more people actively participating in it. Our series is about development through racing opportunity.
“Our drivers spend hours and hours testing on the best tracks in the Middle East where we analyse their performance and help them refine their skills.
Then they put their talents to the test in the races which give us some of the most entertaining motor racing in the region.
“Over the years we have helped develop some of the best racers from this region but there are a huge number of young drivers out there who we can help develop. Hopefully this last round inspires them to get involved in Season 9 which will be starting later this year.”
Formula 1 stars
The involvement of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East in the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend will act as a huge boost for local motorsport with some of the best regional drivers being given a rare opportunity to showcase their talents while sharing the stage with the current stars of Formula 1.
The race not only sees an emotional return for competitors to the Bahrain International Circuit, the home base for Lechner Racing, but also the region’s top drivers playing a leading role in one of Middle East motorsport’s biggest events.