SAKHIR (BAHRAIN): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair and Khalid Al-Wahaibi ended their Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East campaign in stunning fashion with first and fourth places in the second race, being held in conjunction with the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, at Sakhir.
After claiming the overall title with a start-to-finish race win on Saturday, Al-Zubair added a second victory on Sunday and Al-Wahaibi capped a sensational weekend for the Sultanate of Oman by finishing fourth in race two. That was sufficient for the youngster to confirm the Rookie Championship and the Silver category in his first season.
A delighted Al-Zubair said: “An amazing weekend with a double pole and double win. It was a dream weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish the championship. It was good to race with no stress. Sheikh Isa (Al-Khalifa) got a really good start and he was quick throughout the race. We had a good battle. It was a clean fight the whole race and a good way to end the season with another P1.”
Rookie sensation Al-Wahaibi said: “It has been a great season with a lot of ups and downs. I struggled at the last round in Bahrain that was supporting the F1 weekend. However, everything came my way today. It was like a gift from God. Everything I needed to happen happened. I struggled in qualifying and was in the mid pack. That put me P11. When you start from that far back, you are always involved in the mayhem in the middle. I was able to get through all of that, got up to fifth and started to push towards (Glynn) Geddie. I knew he was struggling. I put the pressure on him and he cracked under that pressure and I was able to pounce on that opportunity.
“After that it was P4 and he stuck behind me to the finish. Now we have secured both the Rookie and Silver Championships. It has been a great season all round and for Oman with Al-Faisal winning the overall championship and the GCC and me winning the Silver and the Rookie. Hopefully there is more success to come from the both of us.”
The grid for the second Bahrain race and the final event of the 2017-2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East season was determined by the second fastest lap times in qualifying.
Al-Zubair had carded a second quickest time of 2min 04.021sec and that was sufficient for the Omani to claim pole position from Bahrain’s Isa Al-Khalifa. Al-Wahaibi lined up in 11th place.