Motorsport: Oman’s Al Faisal relishing ‘street circuit’ racing debut in Monte-Carlo

Sports Sunday 21/May/2017 14:24 PM
By: Times News Service
Motorsport: Oman’s Al Faisal relishing ‘street circuit’ racing debut in Monte-Carlo

Muscat: Monaco street circuit, world motorsport’s most glamorous racing venue, is the destination for Omani ace Al Faisal Al Zubair later this week when the high-profile Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup arrives in Monte-Carlo for the third race of the 2017 season.
After making a very impressive debut in the FIA Formula One World Championship support category just a week ago in Barcelona, Spain, the FZ Racing driver is now ready to realise one of his long-held dreams when he takes to the world-famous street circuit a few days from now.
“I’m really excited for Monaco,” said Al Faisal. “When I confirmed to race in the Supercup, to be able to race at Monaco was one of the highlights. I’ll only have 45 minutes to learn the circuit in practice but I’ll do the best I can and will be spending time on the sim before we go to the track. It’s going to be amazing just being part of the whole Formula One weekend Monaco experience.”
Graduating into the flagship Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup off the back of an absolutely sensational maiden campaign in sportscar racing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Al Faisal is rapidly turning heads as one of the region’s most promising international sports stars.
Winning the Silver class and GCC Rookie class championship titles in the Middle Eastern series, which concluded back in April as part of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, the 19-year-old from Muscat went on to confirm his step-up into the Supercup soon after and instantly hit the ground running.
Although scoring points in Barcelona in round two of the campaign, Al Faisal knows the Monaco event will bring an incredibly stern challenge and especially with such limited practice time ahead of the crucial qualifying session.
“Barcelona was really good, although I did test there beforehand, so I think next weekend will be more challenging anyway,” added the Red Bull Oman supported racer, “It will be difficult and it’s the kind of circuit, close to the barriers with no run-off, where the experienced drivers will have a big advantage over the rookies so we need to take that into account.
“Monaco is a place where even more than skill is required, you need a lot of guts to push to the limit. I’m not setting any targets, I’m just aiming to do the best I can in every session and hopefully we can come away with good experience and a good result.”
Al Faisal’s first laps around the Monte-Carlo streets will come on May 25, at 17.30 (local time) with the all-important qualifying session for round three following on May 26, at 10.00 (local time).
After a rest day on May 27, the Supercup race will be contested over 16 laps or a maximum duration of 30 minutes at 09.45 (local time) on May 28.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Overall Standings (after Rd2): 16. Al Faisal Al Zubair, 4 pts.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Rookie Standings (after Rd2): 8. Al Faisal Al Zubair, 4 pts.