Supreme Oliphant secures victory in Bahrain to tie championship


Credit: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Tom Oliphant took an emphatic victory in a hard fought second race of the 2017/2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East that saw hims start from fourth on the grid.

After missing out on victory to Zaid Ashkanani in the first race of the weekend, Oliphant was rewarded for his impressive pace that saw the top five frontrunners battle it out for twelve laps.

Pole-sitter Ashkanani pushed hard from the start of the race, leading the way for most of the race, (with the exception of Al Faisal Al Zubair briefly passing for the lead on lap 5). Oliphant drove an impressive race as he jumped to third place on the opening lap, from this point on he patiently waited behind the two lead cars until lap 8 saw him pass the car of Al Zubair for second.

Despite the pace of Oliphant it was looking like Ashkanani had done enough to wrap up a second victory, this was until the penultimate lap which saw him forge in to the lead with a brilliant pass, by the time the chequered flag dropped on the next lap the Brit had pulled out a half-second gap, taking victory and the championship lead in the process.

Ashkanani consolidated his efforts to hold on to second place, and finish ahead of the final podium place which Al Zubair took. Fahad Algosabi and Charlie Frijns took fifth and six place, while the last Gold class runner Glynn Geddie finished in ninth place overall.

Isa S. Al Khalifa capped a brilliant weekend as he took Silver class victory ahead of the Swedish duo of Magnus Oehman and Christoffer Bergstrom.

Bronze class winner Khalid Al Wahaibi also drove an impressive race to outperform a trio of Silver class competitors – Saul Hack, Mark Radcliffe and Carsten Tilke, to take tenth place overall. Ali Al Khalifa and Rob Frijns completed the Bronze podium ahead of Alex Autumn and Mohammed Al Saud.

In the championship standings Oliphant and Ashkanani are tied on forty-eight points each with Al Faisal Al Zubair in third place. Magnus Oehman leads the silver class by two points over fellow countryman Christoffer Bergstroem and Isa S. Al Khalifa who are both tied on twenty-six points. In the bronze class Khalid Al Wahaibi has the clear advantage of nine points over Ali Al Khalifa with Mohammed Al Saud one point further back.