Al Faisal Al Zubair aims to ex­tend lead in Bahrain

The Omani is de­fend­ing his re­gional ti­tle and opened his 20182019 ac­count with two races wins and a sec­ond place at the first race meet­ing in Dubai last month

Times of Oman - - SPORTS -

Times News Ser­vice

SAKHIR Bahrain: Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair heads to the sec­ond round of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Chal­lenge Mid­dle East ea­ger to de­fend a slen­der two­point lead in the Driv­ers’ Cham­pi­onship at the Sakhir cir­cuit in Bahrain this week­end.

The Omani is de­fend­ing his re­gional ti­tle and opened his 20182019 ac­count with two races wins and a sec­ond place at the first race meet­ing in Dubai last month. Those early suc­cesses have given the Lech­ner Team Mid­dle East driver a two-point ad­van­tage over clos­est ri­val Tio El­li­nas.

Fel­low Omani Khalid Al Wa­haibi holds fifth place in the ti­tle race be­hind Al Zubair, El­li­nas, third­placed Amer­i­can Michel de Que­sada and Tur­key’s Berkay Besler. Al Wa­haibi’s con­sis­tent fin­ishes in Dubai, cou­pled with Al Zubair’s suc­cesses, have earned Team Oman a mas­sive 63-point lead over Team Swe­den in the Team Cham­pi­onship with the host­ing Team Bahrain in third place.

Al Zubair said: “I am very ex­cited to come to the sec­ond round of the cham­pi­onship in Bahrain. This is a track and a coun­try I love. The plan is to get as many wins as pos­si­ble. I know it will not be easy. But I am ready for the chal­lenge and look­ing for­ward to get­ting go­ing.

“I will not be able to do two days of test­ing be­cause I have a pre­sen­ta­tion, so I will not ar­rive in Bahrain un­til Thurs­day morn­ing ready for one test day.”

Khaled Al Wa­haibi added: “I am look­ing for­ward to the races in Bahrain. I thought the round in Dubai was de­cent and I col­lected some good cham­pi­onship points. I want to keep on im­prov­ing. We strug­gled in the first two races in Dubai but the third one was more rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

“Start­ing from to­mor­row (Wed­nes­day), we need to get fo­cused and use every ses­sion we can to im­prove and keep get­ting faster. Once the real thing starts on Fri­day, hope­fully we will be up there fight­ing for the over­all podium. I have not been on the over­all podium yet. This is my sec­ond sea­son and the best re­sult last year was a fourth. I have al­ready matched that at the first round, so that is a great sign.”

Stand­ings:

1. Al Faisal Al Zubair (Oman) 73pts; 2. Tio El­li­nas (Cyprus) 71pts; 3. Michael de Que­sada (USA) 54pts; 4. Berkay Besler (Tur­key) 52pts; 5. Khalid Al Wa­haibi (Oman) 51pts; 6. J.B. Sim­me­nauer (France) 47pts.

Team Cham­pi­onship – po­si­tions af­ter Round 1:

1. Team Oman 124pts; 2. Team Swe­den 61pts; 3. Team Bahrain 49pts.

– Sup­plied photo

DETERMIMED:Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair ex­am­ines his hel­met dur­ing a pit stop.

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