Tag Archives: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

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Close racing between Loeb and Barker in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup - Catalunya, 12 May 2013
Close racing between Loeb and Barker in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup – Catalunya, 12 May 2013
Loeb defies predictions in first Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race… 

London, 14 May 2013 – Sébastien Loeb proved that LUCK IS AN ATTITUDETM this weekend (11/12 May 2013) as he stepped out in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car draped in legendary MARTINI® Racing Stripes. His performance wowed the huge Formula 1® crowds at Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, during the opening round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

Fresh from his World Rally Championship (WRC) win in Argentina, the nine-time World Rally Champion proved you can do anything with the right attitude as he skilfully guided the demanding MARTINI® Racing striped GT racer around Spain’s stunning 4.6 kilometre race track. Having only driven the car twice before, the rally legend qualified thirteenth from a 27-car grid during Saturday’s 30 minute qualifying session. He then went on to take an eleventh place finish as the chequered flag fell on Sunday’s 14 lap race.

Part of the MARTINI® 150 Anniversary celebration, Sébastien Loeb’s debut in the new livery re-ignites the legendary relationship between MARTINI® Racing and Porsche. A relationship representing some of motorsport’s most glorious victories across almost every category of the sport. As excitement mounted, there was a scrum of photographers on the start grid as smiling Formula 1® driver Adrian Sutil posed with the car and Bernie Ecclestone himself made an appearance to see the iconic sight of eleven light blue, dark blue and red stripes first hand which once symbolised a large part of his Brabham Formula 1® days in the ‘70s.

More at home on the twisty gravel stages of rallying than the slick tarmac of the race track, 39-year-old motorsport maverick, Loeb, has written the opening line of another textbook entry in MARTINI® Racing history with his impressive performance ahead of Monte Carlo, 25/26 May. The Frenchman quickly made up two places from his starting position during the 30-minute race – narrowly missing out on a top-ten finish after an exciting wheel-to-wheel race with Britain’s Ben Barker.

The pair briefly traded places during lap seven following an impressive manoeuvre which saw the MARTINI® Racing stripes of Loeb’s machine charge down the inside of the number 10 car to gain tenth position. However, experienced Supercup driver Barker regained his spot through the next corner and drove a defensive race for the remaining seven laps – contending with a rear-view mirror filled with the celebrated racing livery, which has graced many legendary Porsche models. Barker eventually crossed the line in tenth, just one second ahead of Loeb’s number 88 car in eleventh.

Today’s prediction-defying result is testament to the attitude and desire to win synonymous with drivers who sit behind the wheel of a MARTINI® Racing machine. One of the most successful drivers the world has ever seen, Loeb retired from WRC to step out of his comfort zone and try new things. Racing against a large grid of seasoned Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup drivers is a tough challenge, particularly against youngsters who have grown up as specialists in circuit racing.

Sébastien Loeb said: “During the first laps I was somewhat cautious. I know how easy it is to get tangled up in a skirmish with such a close field. I wasn’t able to get much further ahead. When you have so many strong drivers ahead of you who are all going the same speed there is not much chance to overtake. Still, it was huge fun. As the weekend went on I felt increasingly better in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and now I’m looking forward to the race in Monaco. There, the qualifying is more important of course and hopefully I can start from a little further up the grid.”

Florian Kurz, Head of Business Relations Porsche AG, added: “It was fantastic to see a driver of [Sébastien] Loeb’s calibre race the VIP car this weekend. He is well respected in every echelon of motorsport and I know our Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup drivers were looking forward to racing against him.
“The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car looks great, especially dressed in fantastic MARTINI® Racing livery as part of MARTINI® 150 Anniversary celebrations, remembering the very special relationship between MARTINI® and Porsche. Both the car and Loeb caused quite a stir.”

Porsche GT3

Al Azhari


Dubai. Karim Al Azhari and Clemens Schmid will go all out to provide Al Nabooda Racing with a double home victory at Dubai Autodrome this weekend when the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East headlines one of the circuit’s biggest attractions of the year. 

The Dubai-based outfit leads the team title race in the GT3 Cup series after four of 12 rounds, and Al Azhari and Schmid want to extend their advantage over nearest challengers, the Saudi Falcons, as the championship reaches the half way stage during the Dubai Motorsport Festival Weekend. 

“This is our home circuit, we’re going to have a lot of support and we want to be at our absolute best,” said Al Azhari, who has been one of the most successful drivers at Dubai Autodrome since the circuit opened in 2004. 

“If we can repeat our performance from the first two rounds in Bahrain where we won the team title in both races, that will put us in a very strong position in the overall team championship.

 “Securing that is our top priority this season, and while Clemens and I both race to win as individuals, we’re very focused on the task to bring the GT3 cup team title to Dubai for the first time.” 

Schmid, who scored a race victory at Dubai Autodrome on his first GT3 Cup appearance last season and won both of this season’s opening rounds in Bahrain,

said: “We race to win, and the aim again this weekend is to get the both of us on the podium. That’s what wins championships.” 

The Al Nabooda Racing duo aim to put pressure on the individual championship leader, Saudi’s Abdulaziz Al Faisal, who scored back-to-back race wins at Yas Marina Circuit last weekend and is chasing a third GT3 Cup drivers’ title.  

Now in its fourth season and firmly established as the Middle East’s leading circuit racing championship, the Porsche GT3 Cup series tops the bill with a 15-car line-up for the action-packed Dubai Motorsport Festival Weekend. 

The prime late afternoon slots for Round 5 tomorrow (Thursday) and Round 6 on Friday highlight the status of a series now producing some of the most spectacular bumper to bumper sports car racing ever seen at the region’s top circuits. 

“The level of driving skills on show in the championship has grown each year, and the competition is fierce, with the result that we are seeing some intriguing battles out there on the track,” said Vijay Rao, team manager of Al Nabooda Racing. 

“This is circuit racing at its best, and that’s the reason why we went with a two-car entry this season in order for us to compete for the team title, and hopefully bring it to Dubai.” 

The Dubai Motorsport Festival has been a mainstay of the Dubai Autodrome calendar for several years and culminates this weekend with an appetising programme of national and international racing also featuring the  NGK Racing Series, UAE Sportbikes, the Formula Gulf 1000, the UAE’s first junior single seater series, and the Radical Winter Cup.


Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, team standings:

1. Al Nabooda Racing 160pts

2. Saudi Falcons 153pts

3. Team Bahrain 134pts

4. Frijns Structural Steel ME (QAT) 62pts

5. Gebhardt Motorsport ME (QAT) 44pts