Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East competitors set for new season following Bahrain test

by Vince Pettit

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East gets under way this weekend in Bahrain as it kicks off it’s ninth season.

Supporting the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Bahrain International Circuit, the series switches to the second generation Porsche GT3 Cup, which competitors had chance to experience this week on track.

“Wow. The new engine delivers 485 hp and I used it all.” said Saul Hack. “The power and traction are incredible and I really enjoyed my first experience of the Bahrain circuit.

“In testing I feel I’ve ticked off a long line of firsts. First time in the car, on the Bahrain track and practising at night. And it’s all preparation for my first international race. But I’m in the right place to start this stage of my career. I’ve no real pressure apart from what I put on myself so I’m looking to be the leading rookie and build from there.”

The grid for the opening race sees nine nationalities go up against each other with seven drivers making their series debut.

Credit: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Al Faisal Al Zubair, winner of the inaugural GCC Porsche GT3 Rookie Championship, is looking forward to the start of the new season, especially after gaining additional experience by taking part in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as support to eleven Formula 1 race.

“To be honest I can’t wait to get started.” Al Zubair commented. “Last season was my debut. I’d so much to learn. The cars, the tracks, the set up and the people. Everything felt new. But now I have a great advantage since I’m so familiar with the car. All feels comfortable and I’m confident of being in a position to fight for podiums and the drivers’ championship.”

After testing, championship Founder and Manager Walter Lechner said: “If beaming smiles are anything to go by then that was hugely productive two days for all drivers. Testing is always vital but with a new car and a host of new drivers making their debut it was extra important.

“New drivers are the lifeblood of the series so I especially want them to gradually find their feet. I’d never tell drivers to go slow but I’d certain tell them to drive within themselves. But with testing over now the countdown is really on and we’ve every ingredient necessary to make this the best season yet.”

Season nine of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East takes place over six race weekends, visiting Bahrain International Circuit, Dubai Autodrome, and Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.

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