Saudi Prince roars to victory in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Team-mates share new double celebration and championship lead as glory changes hands in second round Bahrain. Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid Al Faisal won the second...
Saudi Prince roars to victory in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Team-mates share new double celebration and championship lead as glory changes hands in second round
Bahrain. Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid Al Faisal won the second round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East today following a dramatic tussle for victory at Bahrain International Circuit.
Prince Khalid produced the performance of his young motor racing career to edge his cousin and team-mate, first round winner Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal, into second place.
Another Saudi driver, 16 year old Fahad Algosaibi, grabbed the other podium position to round off a memorable weekend which saw him make history as the youngest driver to compete in a Porsche worldwide.
The results means that the two Princes share the lead in the new one-make 12-round championship which now looks towards Riyadh and the next two rounds taking place at Reem International Circuit on 6-7 January.
For the second day in succession there was bitter disappointment for Bahrain's Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, the most experienced driver in the field, who again took pole position on his home track only to lose out.
Sponsored by Michelin and Mobil 1, the new regional series has given worldwide debut this weekend to the 2010 model Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, and Sheikh Salman has clearly taken an immediate liking to his.
Determined to wipe out the memory of his first round exit with mechanical problems, he made a brilliant start to the second round and quickly moved into a five-second lead.
But a lapse in concentrate on the third of 12 laps saw him spin off the track, and while he quickly recovered he found himself in fourth place and was not able to move up the field.
The incident propelled Prince Abdulaziz into the lead, and he looked to be heading for a second straight victory before Prince Khalid spotted an opening on lap eight and squeezed past him. He eventually took the chequered flag with a slender winning margin of 0.945 seconds.
Following Sheikh Salman to the finish, Saudi team-mates Bandar Alireza and Raed Abuzenadah completed the top six.
After dropping from contention in the first round following a late collision, Abu Dhabi's Khaled Al Qubaisi went out of the second round when he damaged his car's radiator.
A delighted Prince Khalid said at the finish: "This was my best race yet. I've raised the bar this year because I wanted to compete in the best championship and race against the best drivers, and already I'm learning a lot from them.
"Yesterday was my first race and while I was quick I wasn't ready to try to overtake Prince Abdulaziz who is such a good driver, and I was very happy with a one-two finish for the team.
"But I'm learning how to driver this car and today I decided that if I saw a good chance to push for the lead, then I'd take it."