Schmid wins GT3 Cup opening race

Clemens Schmid of Al Nabooda Racing produced another superior racing display to claim victory in the first of two races at the Losail International Circuit in Round 3 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, while Skydive Dubai Falcons’ Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum battled his way through the pack to finish sixth.

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Published: Sun 19 Jan 2014, 9:22 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:12 PM

Winners of the GT3 Cup on the podium. — Supplied photo

Winners of the GT3 Cup on the podium. — Supplied photo

Starting from pole position, Schmid extended his lead at the top of the table with a commanding race. Meanwhile Kuwaiti teenager Zaid Ashkanani followed on from his maiden victory in Dubai last month with a second place finish ahead of Saudi Falcons’ Abdulaziz AlFaisal in third.

The UAE-based Schmid, who has won all the races with the exception of Race 2 in Dubai, controlled the contest after regaining his pole position in lap two, which saw the first appearance of the all-new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in Qatar. In his first appearance in the series and starting second on the grid, Jeffrey Schmidt produced a stunning start and overtook Schmid on the first corner. But his lead did not last long as Schmid regained his advantage allowing him to control the pace of the race and take the chequered flag largely unthreatened.

Fresh from his victory in Dubai and starting third on the grid, Ashkanani showed his pedigree as a future series champion by overtaking Jeffrey Schmidt in lap five and, just as in Dubai, keeping his composure to see off the challenge of AlFaisal and claim his third runner-up spot of the fifth season.

For Ashkanani, it was another mature display under the lights at the Losail International Circuit. “I am delighted with the result and following up from Dubai. I was under constant pressure from AlFaisal but managed to keep my focus and secure a podium place.”

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