Defending champion wins Round 6 as Bahraini snatches second from Al Qubaisi on dramatic last lap in Saudi
Prince Abdulaziz scores Porsche GT3 Cup win as Salman retains series lead
Riyadh. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal cruised to a comfortable victory in Round 6 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East today while Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa retained his championship lead in dramatic style at Reem International Circuit outside Riyadh.
After claiming pole position for the second day in succession, Prince Abdulaziz led from start to finish and eventually won by 18 seconds to atone for his setback 24 hours earlier when the defending champion could only manage fourth place.
But the real drama unfolded behind him as Sheikh Salman survived a spin on the first corner which dropped him to fifth position and eventually snatched second place from Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi in spectacular fashion on the final lap.
That was the climax of a breathtaking race-long battle for the podium places which changed hands several times as Salman, Al Qubaisi, teenager Fahad Algosaibi and Saudi’s Bandar Alesayi fought for every inch on the twisting Reem circuit.
After climbing from third to second place with a brilliant start, Al Qubaisi held on to that position until half way through the 18th and final lap when first Alesayi threatened to move past him before Sheikh Salman squeezed ahead of them both.
He now takes home a six-point lead over Prince Abdulaziz to carry into Rounds 7 and 8 at Bahrain International Circuit on February 18-19.
Round 6 results
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team 25:45.678
2. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH) 26:03.750
3. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia 26:04.580
4. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) 26:04.711
5. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 26:04.926
6. Hamad Al Khalifa (BAH) 26:23.995
7. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia 26:26.505
8. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing 26:36.538
9. Johannes Waimer (GER) 26:41.363
10. Bandar Alireza (KSA) 26:50.050
11. Alain Muraour (F) 26:09.995 (- 1 lap)
Championship positions after six rounds
1. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH) 110pts
2. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team 104pts
3. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia 98pts
4. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 85pts
5. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) 80pts
6. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia 57pts
7. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing 49pts
8. Johannes Waimer (GER) 37pts
9. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 27pts
11. Alain Muraour (F) 25pts
Mobil 1 Trophy (Over 45s)
1. Johannes Waimer (GER) 110pts
2. Alain Muraour (F) 92pts
3. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 74pts