UAE teams prepare for Dubai showdown

UAE teams prepare for Dubai showdown

The Dubai round is set to carry a substantial amount of weight for all racers involved with both the drivers’ and team championships still there for the taking.



Clemens Schmid set the early pace in testing. — Supplied photo

Clemens Schmid set the early pace in testing. — Supplied photo

Dubai: The region’s finest racers are back in action this weekend as Round 5 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East rolls into Dubai Autodrome with UAE-based Clemens Schmid setting the early pace in testing as his Al Nabooda Racing team look to see off local rivals Skydive Dubai Falcons in the team competition.

The penultimate round of Season 6 will once again welcome 18 world-class drivers representing over 10 different nations including the UAE, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar as they approach the business end of what has been a pulsating series in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.

The Dubai round is set to carry a substantial amount of weight for all racers involved with both the drivers’ and team championships still there for the taking. After Round 5 the drivers will face a final weekend battle on the biggest stage in motorsport as they face off at the Bahrain International Circuit as the warm up race for the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Setting the tone in testing for Round 5 was series leader Clemens Schmid (190 points) who posted the fastest time ahead of his closest rival Zaid Ashkanani (184 points). The previous two rounds of the series in Qatar saw Schmid lose ground in the battle for the Drivers’ Standings to the young Kuwaiti, who has narrowed the gap at the top of the table to just six points. It was in this round last year where Schmid was forced off the track and lost his championship lead to Ashkanani — the Kuwaiti going on to win his first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East title.

Speaking ahead of Round 5 in Dubai Schmid said: “These are the most exciting weekends for sure. This is where it really starts to matter and the slightest slip in concentration can have a huge impact on the result of the season. Of course it’s exciting. We all want to be winners and that means taking the right approach to the pressure and delivering on the track. It’s a track we know well and we’re racing against a group of guys we know very well so there shouldn’t be too many surprises.”

With the battle at the top of the Drivers’ Standings raging, Schmid must also contend with the challenge from Skydive Dubai Falcons in the team competition. After a promising start to the season in which they led for much of the way, the Skydive duo of Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum and Saeed Al Mehairi sit just eight points behind Schmid’s Al Nabooda Racing with only four races left in the season.

 


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