Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Gritty Al Faisal in seventh heaven
Al Faisal al Zubair underlined his credentials as one of the promising talent in the competitive 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, when the Omani sealed a sensational career-best seventh-place finish in the opening round at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Sunday.
The 21 year old, who earlier this year, became the first-ever driver to win back-to-back Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East series, improved by one spot after qualifying eighth to finish overall seventh among 28 drivers.
Al Faisal began the race on the storied circuit in Montmeló on Sunday on a cautious note and despite losing one position on the opening lap, he bounced back strongly to regain his place and then moved up to seventh in what developed into a processional race from then on.
The Omani made his way to seventh spot on lap three at the expense of Jaxon Evans and settled into the leading group behind Tio Ellinas.
Pole position winner Julien Andlauer, also of the BWT Lechner Racing Team, led from start-to-finish to begin his season in winning style.
He held off the challenge from runner-up Ayhancan Güven and third-placed teammate Michael Ammermüller. Ellinas came fourth.
A visibly delighted Al Faisal said, “It was an amazing race. I was P9 at the start and then moved up to P8.
“From then on, I had pretty good pace and the front pack never really went ahead. I managed the tyres really well. I think it shows now that I am one of the front cars. I am very happy with that result.
“The result is a major boost and will motivate me to go even better in the series. I hope that we can continue in this way. I am feeling way far comfortable than I ever was in the car.”
There were no late dramas at the front of the field and the processional race ended with Andlauer pipping Güven and Ammermüller at the top of the podium. Mikkel Pedersen lost two places with one lap to go and slipped behind Ellinas and Jaap van Lagen for sixth.
The next round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup takes place in Monte Carlo from May 23-26.