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Falcons Abdulaziz AlFaisal looking for final push in Bahrain in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle EastSchmid 1st, AlFaisal 2nd, Pommer 3rd – Austrian secures double delight in DohaSaudi


Doha. Saudi Falcons Abdulaziz AlFaisal will be looking to reduce a 10-point deficit in the final weekend of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East after finishing second in Round 10 at Losail International Circuit.

After starting second on the 15-car grid, AlFaisal could not dislodge Al Nabooda Racings Clemens Schmid, who won his second race of the weekend and his sixth in a row with another authoritative performance.

The victory means Schmid goes into the final weekend of the fourth season leading the championship standings with a 10 points leads over closest rival and nemesis Abdulaziz AlFaisal, with Al Nabooda racings Karim Al-Azhari in third.

The battle for the championship began with the two challengers starting first and second on the grid, with Lechner Racings Pommer in third position on the 15-car grid. Al-Azhari continued his quest to consolidate his third place in the standings by starting fourth, with Christina Nielsen in fifth and Faisal Binladen in sixth.

Reigning champion AlFaisal is confident he can defend his title going into the final weekend of the season. He added: “It was a tight race between me and Schmid. I pushed him all the way but he kept his composure throughout. I will be pushing really hard in Bahrain and I don’t believe it is all over yet. I am taking one race at a time. Anything can happen in motorsport.”

AlFaisal’s team-mate Faisal Binladen finished in the top six to consolidate his position in the Silver Michelin Category to a 15-point lead. Binladen was pleased with his overall performance.

He added: “My main objective this weekend was to lead the Silver Michelin category and finish the weekend as the leader. Zaid Ashkanani pushed me all the way and proved what a tough competitor he is. Christina produced a good race in Round 10 and did not give me an opportunity to overtake her, even though I was not that far behind her.”

In a thrilling race that was encapsulated by the rivalry between Schmid and AlFaisal, as they looked for ascendency going into Rounds 11 and 12 in Bahrain, Schmid held onto his pole position lead throughout the 12-lap race on the 5.38km Losail track under the lights. AlFaisal continued to persist in overtaking his main rival, piling on the pressure, but the young Austrian held his nerve to claim his sixth victory in a row and his eight victory in the ten rounds completed in the season.

With the Losail floodlights providing a fantastic backdrop, the battle to finish in the top six was just as exciting as the two-horse race for the title. Lechner Racings Pommer, who started third on the grid, lost his position in the opening laps of the race to Al Nabooda Racings Karim Al-Azhari, but the young German showed his class and regained third spot a few laps later to finish in the final podium position.

With Al Nabooda Racings Al-Azhari finishing in forth, thus collecting valuable team points, the fight to finish in the top six was just as engrossing, with the Silver Michelin category contenders, Binladen, Ashkanani, Mohammed Mattar and Christina Nielsen battling it out to secure vital points.

The first female driver to race in the series, Nielsen held off the challenges of her Silver Michelin category rivals, especially BinLaden, who threatened to overtake her on the final lap. But the Dane held her nerve to edge out the Saudi Falcons driver to claim fifth position.

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East championship standings after Round 10 are: 1st Clemens Schmid (228 points, 2nd Abdulaziz AlFaisal (218 points), 3rd Karim Al-Azhari (180 points).

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Team Standings after Round 10 are: 1st Al Nabooda (404 points) 2nd Saudi Falcons (379 points), 3rd Team Bahrain (311 points).

3/10/2013