OmanPride: Al Faisal Al Zubair, Oman’s new face of racing

More sports Sunday 21/May/2017 19:11 PM
By: Times News Service
OmanPride: Al Faisal Al Zubair, Oman’s new face of racing

Oman’s young sensation, Al Faisal Al Zubair did not just make his family proud by succeeding in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, but has also given Oman a new face to look forward to in international racing. “The reaction from here (Oman), the Porsche crew and rest of the team was unbelievable. It was the best feeling,” said Al Zubair. The 19-year-old won the Best Rookie and Silver Cup in the series in which he was placed fifth in the overall drivers ranking.

“I’ve been racing for five years. Being a rookie, I didn’t really set a lot of expectations in the beginning. But I believe throughout the season I was just getting better and better. For me and the crew, my overall podiums in the beginning were already an achievement.” As a result, Al Zubair has qualified for the Porsche Mibil 1 Supercup, which brings together the winners of the other regional races at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

“Porsche holds 20 championships around the world. The Super Cup is basically where the quickest of all go and meet. It is the top and strongest racing event.” It was his debut in the FIA Formula One World Championship support series, where he was placed 19th among the 31 talented racers that had participated.

Earlier this year, he had managed to grab attention after finishing second overall and his double-class win in round five of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. Since then, it has been an uphill journey for him. When asked if he felt the pressure of competition and expectation, Al Zubair said, “Winning overall in my first year is definitely an amazing achievement, but if I go to my second year and don’t win it will be a kind of a letdown.” Contrary to common belief, Al Zubair needs to train very hard and stay fit to prepare himself for the race.

“Mental and physical fitness is a big attribute while racing. I’ve been going to the gym a lot more; working on my cardiovascular fitness. When you’re sitting in a car for 40 minutes trying to use the tiniest precision with no mistakes in 50 degrees, a single mistake could cost you five to six positions, your being physically fit gives you the biggest advantage.”

Al Zubair recently launched his team FZ racing at an event held in Shangri-la. “FZ Racing is a brand surrounding me. The brand is around me as an athlete, but it is not possible without a whole lot of factors,” he said expressing his gratitude towards his parents and supporters.
Speaking about his inspiration, Al Zubair said, “Two of my heroes would be Ahmed Al Harthy and Ali Al Habsi. We all have our own different goals, but we are all trying to do our best on the world stage to lift the Omani flag.”
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