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Feb 10, 2014 - 09:22 AM
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Al Nabooda Racing Home In On Another Double Porsche GT3 Cup Title Triumph
Posted by: newsla on Feb 10, 2014 - 09:21 AM
Sports Cars
Al Nabooda Racing Home In On Another Double Porsche GT3 Cup Title Triumph


Reigning champions Al Nabooda Racing aim to take a decisive step towards another double title triumph in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East on home territory at Dubai Autodrome this weekend.

 

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Carrying a formidable 51-point lead into Rounds 9 and 10 on Friday and Saturday, Clemens Schmid and Karim Al Azhari are on the verge of retaining the team crown they won so convincingly last season, with the final race weekend to follow in Bahrain next month.

Once again the dominant driver this season with six wins in eight races, Schmid also looks unstoppable as he homes in on another individual title, leading the standings by 39pts and aiming to add to his brilliant winning record in Dubai.

While the team and drivers’ championships look certain to be decided at Bahrain International Circuit, where Al Nabooda Racing secured both titles last season, Schmid and Al Azhari are determined to put on a show in Dubai this weekend.

"It’s our home circuit, and we want to do well," said Al Azhari, currently lying fifth in the drivers’ standings. "It’s been a fantastic season for Al Nabooda Racing. I’m very excited that we now have a stronger lead in the team championship than we had at this stage last season.

"Before the season started no-one had much experience with the new GT3 Cup car and therefore it was always going to throw the teams, the drivers and the engineers into a mix, so we weren’t sure how it would end up.

"We couldn’t be happier with our position, especially as there has been such strong competition among the top ten drivers. We’ve had guys finishing a race in second place, and in the next race dropping down to tenth, and all this has made the series so interesting.

"I’ve had some excellent races, and some where I’ve really finished well down the field, once when I got hit by another car, and another time when I destroyed my tyres by over-driving.

"While Clemens has been winning most of the races, myself and a lot of the other guys have been a bit up and down in terms of results, so it’s very encouraging for Al Nabooda Racing that we’re in such a strong position."

Vijay Rao, Team Manager of Al Nabooda Racing gave credit to team engineer Frank Funke in helping them to a handy advantage in the series with just four rounds to go, and hopes that the home advantage in Dubai will extend their lead even further.

"We’re coming back to our home track, and Frank has been integral to our success in the championship so far," said Rao. "He also recently tasted success at the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai in the Porsche 997 Cup class, and the mood is good heading into this weekend.

"Karim has grown up here and Clemens has always done very well at the Dubai Autodrome. It never is easy in this championship but we have done everything right leading into this weekend and are in a very positive mindset."

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, team standings after 8 rounds:

1. Al Nabooda Racing 314pts

2. Saudi Falcons 263pts

3. SKY DIVE Dubai Falcons 234pts

4. Team Bahrain 167pts

5. BuZaid GT (KUW) 121pts

6. milon Racing (GER) 93pts

Drivers’ championship:

1. Clemens Schmid (Al Nabooda Racing) 196pts

2. Zaid Ashkanani (KUW) 157pts

3. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) 152pts

4. Hasher Al Maktoum (UAE) 130pts

5. Karim Al Azhari (UAE) 122pts

6. Saeed Al Mehairi (UAE) 107pts

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