The hugely anticipated Round 5 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East is almost underway as the drivers prepare to take on the Dubai Autodrome track for the second time within two weeks. The penultimate round concludes three back to back race weekends in the UAE, beginning at Yas Marina Circuit in January, finishing this weekend in Dubai before heading back to Bahrain for the series finale early next month.
Hosting this weekend’s festivities will be the Grand Prix Circuit of Dubai Autodrome, with each race consisting of 12 laps of the 5.39KM track. For each driver the importance of the last two rounds in the series is huge, and with the championship title hanging in the balance it is all to play for as the drivers make their way into the business end of the season.
Qatar based Charlie Frijns is returning to Dubai with hopes of replicating the fine form that he showed last time around at this track, where he finished in second and third place respectively across the two races. Sitting only 24 points from the top-three in the driver’s standings, Frijns is determined to finish Season 7 on a high:
“I love competing in Dubai and had a great experience here just a couple of weeks ago. At this stage of the season the stakes are high and I’m pleased that I’m starting to find the level of consistency that you need to challenge for a podium finish. Obviously anything can still happen, so I’m looking to stay focused and drive to the best of my ability – hopefully it’ll be enough to break into the top-three come the end of the season.”
In order to be successful, Frijns must first bridge the narrow four-point gap separating him from the racing veteran Abdulaziz AlFaisal of Saudi Arabia, then be ready to strike on the slightest of errors from the trio currently leading the way by Al Nabooda Racing’s Jeffrey Schmidt in first, Ireland’s Ryan Cullen in second and Zaid Ashkanani of Kuwait in third.
As Season 7 of the region’s leading one-make series enters its final stages, the provision of a platform for local racing talent to take developing steps in their careers has once again been a hallmark of the series. As Charlie Frijns has affirmed his status as one of the Middle East’s most promising and most talented young drivers, new racers such as Saudi Arabia’s Saud AlFaisal and Zaid Ashkanani have been shining in a series that offers a pathway to global motor racing.
Both races of the penultimate round will take place at Dubai Autodrome on Friday, 19th February with all fans welcome.
Overall Championship Standings
|1st||Jeffrey Schmidt||UAE||Al Nabooda Racing||175|
|2nd||Ryan Cullen||IRL||Cullen Motorsport||170|
|3rd||Zaid Ashkanani||KUW||Al Nabooda Racing||165|
|4th||Abdulaziz AlFaisal||KSA||AlFaisal Racing||145|
|5th||Charlie Frijns||QAT||Frijns Structural Steel ME||141|
|6th||Saud AlFaisal||KSA||AlFaisal Racing||119|
Team Championship Standings
|1st||Al Nabooda Racing||UAE||340|
|3rd||Frijns Structural Steel ME||QAT||209|