Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair re­turns to de­fend Porsche BWT GT3 Cup ti­tle

Omani driver Al Faisal Al Zubair is con­firmed to de­fend his ti­tle and will com­pete in a third straight sea­son in the pres­ti­gious Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Chal­lenge Mid­dle East

Times of Oman - - SPORTS -

Times News Ser­vice

MUS­CAT: Omani driver Al Faisal Al Zubair is con­firmed to de­fend his ti­tle and will com­pete in a third straight sea­son in the pres­ti­gious Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Chal­lenge Mid­dle East.

The in­clu­sion of the tal­ented twenty-year old is a fur­ther boost for the most pro­fes­sional cham­pi­onship in the re­gion as it pre­pares to cel­e­brate the start of a land­mark tenth sea­son with a host of ex­cit­ing new de­vel­op­ments.

A new name, thanks to the in­tro­duc­tion of a ti­tle spon­sor for the first time, Best Wa­ter Tech­nol­ogy (BWT), a new for­mat and new sched­ule, will wel­come the driv­ers when rac­ing re­turns for the open­ing round at the Dubai Au­to­drome on the Novem­ber 16 and 17.

For Al Zubair, a prod­uct of the one-make Porsche se­ries hav­ing made his de­but only two sea­sons ago, the start Sea­son 10 will also rep­re­sent a new and more de­mand­ing chal­lenge.

Firstly, he will face sev­eral new driv­ers from around the world al­ready con­firmed on the grid lineup, and if he is to re­claim his ti­tle the Omani will need to show great depths of con­sis­tency and stamina due to the ad­di­tion of four fur­ther race out­ings to the sched­ule.

The cham­pi­onship now com­prises of six­teen races over six in­tense week­ends be­tween the Dubai Au­to­drome, Yas Ma­rina Cir­cuit and Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit, with pre-sea­son test­ing tak­ing place in Dubai over two days from Novem­ber 14 to 15.

Speak­ing ahead of test­ing, Al Zubair said: “The Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Chal­lenge Mid­dle East was my first real big break­through in the sport and has since pro­vided the best pos­si­ble plat­form to build and de­velop my track ex­pe­ri­ence. It means a lot to me on a per­sonal level, es­pe­cially work­ing with Wal­ter. It has been the defin­ing mo­ment of my ca­reer so far and I want to prove that I have got even bet­ter thanks to my per­for­mances in Porsche Mo­bil 1 Su­per­cup with Lech­ner Rac­ing Mid­dle East over the sum­mer months.

“Since win­ning the ti­tle in Bahrain I have not sat back. I have pushed my­self on even fur­ther as the prospect of fac­ing a com­plete new and stiffer chal­lenge is re­ally mo­ti­vat­ing. Re­new­ing all ri­val­ries, tak­ing on new com­peti­tors and adding four more races re­ally does shift things up a gear. My aim is to de­fend my ti­tle – I know it will be tough, but I am ready for the chal­lenge.”

Al Zubair rep­re­sents an ex­cit­ing new breed of high cal­i­bre driv­ers from the re­gion who have emerged on the world stage. In only his sec­ond sea­son, he be­came the first Omani and the fourth Arab driver to win the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Chal­lenge Mid­dle East ti­tle. This fol­lowed a re­mark­able de­but sea­son which saw the prodi­gious ta­lent take both the GCC Rookie and Sil­ver cat­e­gory cham­pi­onship ti­tles.

Se­ries founder and man­ager Wal­ter Lech­ner, of Lech­ner Rac­ing, said: “To wel­come back our cham­pion is al­ways go­ing to be a very pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment es­pe­cially when you con­sider the ca­reer tra­jec­tory of Al Faisal. As a driver he is com­pletely com­mit­ted to win­ning and is a great ex­am­ple to oth­ers in the Mid­dle East to fol­low.

“By hav­ing such a proven path­way to go from rookie to cham­pion to world stage speaks vol­umes about the se­ries and is a key rea­son why we have new driv­ers on an in­ter­na­tional grid for Sea­son 10. Glob­ally Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Chal­lenge Mid­dle East is now seen as the launch-pad for rac­ing driv­ers to el­e­vate their ca­reer, of­ten to pro­fes­sional sta­tus. We have a truly global foot­print and fam­ily of driv­ers who are all ready to hone their skills on the track. I know Al Faisal will rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to build on his early suc­cess within the sport and I per­son­ally can’t wait to see the com­pe­ti­tion on show this sea­son.”

Man­aged by Lech­ner Rac­ing on be­half of Porsche Mid­dle East and Africa FZE, the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Chal­lenge Mid­dle East was the first re­gional cham­pi­onship backed by a man­u­fac­turer in the Mid­dle East. The highly suc­cess­ful one-make se­ries is the long­est run­ning and only re­gional mo­tor­sport se­ries and Sea­son 10 is poised to con­tinue break­ing new ground.

The an­niver­sary sea­son sees sev­eral changes to its for­mat, while con­tin­u­ing to hold its ex­hil­a­rat­ing cham­pi­onship fi­nale as the of­fi­cial sup­port race of the 2019 For­mula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

The new sea­son con­sists of six­teen races over six week­ends. The ad­di­tions aim to test driver fo­cus and en­durance, while also mak­ing the fight for the ti­tle more dif­fi­cult, with added points on of­fer to dis­rupt the cham­pi­onship ta­ble sig­nif­i­cantly.

– Sup­plied Photo

UP FOR THE CHAL­LENGE: Al Faisal Al Zubair poses with his tro­phies.

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