Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge ME Series: Title defence in sight for Al Faisal in fifth round

March 06, 2019

Al Faisal al Zubair in action during the fourth round of Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Series last month

With his title defence in sight, Oman's Al Faisal al Zubair will be hoping to extend his existing 41-point lead in the penultimate and fifth round of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, which will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, on March 8-9.

A total of three races are lined up in the fifth round with the 12th race of the series on Friday followed by back-to-back races the next day.

A good finish on the three races over the weekend will bring Al Faisal closer to a 'dream double’ with only two races remaining in the series, which will be held as support races of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix on March 30-31.

Al Faisal had made history last year, becoming the first Omani to win the overall title.

Besides Al Faisal, the other racer of Team Oman, Khalid al Wahaibi, will also be looking for an improved show with the duo all set to secure the Team Championship title over the weekend. Both drivers are running under the Walter

Lechner Racing banner. Al Faisal's lead over Turkey’s Berkay Besler has come on the back of some consistent performances with a total of eight race wins out of the 11 held so far.

Only once has Al Faisal missed a podium, finishing fourth in Abu Dhabi in January during the ninth race of the season to notch up 263 points.

Besler has 222 while Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer of France is third with 178. Khalid is overall fifth with 173, just four points behind American Michael De Quesada.

Both the Omani racers have helped Team Oman (436) take a massive 189-point lead over Team Sweden (247) while Team Bahrain is with 218. A decent display this weekend will ensure Team Oman the title.

Speaking ahead of the penultimate round, Al Faisal said, “I am excited and looking forward to the three races this weekend. It’s a track I really love.

“Obviously, I have the championship in my mind at this stage. So my aim will be to collect as many points as possible, as defending my championship title is my top priority.”

Khalid-Al-Wahaibi-R5-Bahrai

Khalid, who has come up with some solid performances this season, said, “I want to put in strong results in the last two rounds and hopefully I can be consistent.”