Emirati driver wants to launch serious title challenge as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East begins new season Al Qubaisi aims for flying start on Abu Dhabi F1 weekend Dubai. Abu Dhabi's Khaled Al Qubaisi has laid the foundations ...
Emirati driver wants to launch serious title challenge as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East begins new season
Al Qubaisi aims for flying start on Abu Dhabi F1 weekend
Dubai. Abu Dhabi's Khaled Al Qubaisi has laid the foundations for what he hopes will be a flying start to the new season on home territory in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East this weekend.
Al Qubaisi is determined to put pressure on Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal who begins his title defence when the exciting one-make Porsche series opens its 2010-11 campaign at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday and Sunday.
And after a busy summer competing in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Europe, the Emirati driver is full of optimism ahead of the first two rounds of the 12-round championship which are the official support race races for the 2010 Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
"I'm so much better prepared than I was before the start of last season when I had only one competitive race before it began," he said. "This time I've got a full GT3 Cup Challenge season behind me, and I've gained a lot of good experience in Europe last summer so I'm in great shape and can't wait for the new season to start."
Despite having limited race experience, Al Qubaisi showed some outstanding natural ability last season as the new Porsche series made an instant impact by producing great action on the race circuits of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Reem outside Riyadh.
In a season dominated by Prince Abdulaziz who scored nine race wins to become the first GT3 Cup Challenge champion in the Middle East, he was unable to find the consistency to match his pace.
But Al Qubaisi feels he is now ready to make the most of his obvious potential, and this time he has the company of two other UAE drivers in the starting line-up, as Musaed Al Murar and Ibrahim Salloum both make their series debut in Abu Dhabi at the weekend.
The two rookies will be looking to gain invaluable experience by competing in a championship which is designed to identify top Arab and local-based talent in the region and become a platform for entry into the world of international GT and sports car racing.
Al Murar, who is Al Qubaisi's Tolimit Arabia team-mate, made his motor racing debut in May this year when he contested in the Porsche Sports Cup in Germany.
Salloum took part in the UAE National GT Championship last season in a Porsche 911 Cup car and also saw race action in Germany.
When the GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East series starts its new season at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday, the drivers will be at the wheel of identical 450 horsepower 911 GT3 Cup cars, marking the first competitive action anywhere in the world for the 2011 model.
With Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa and Saudi youngster Fahad Algosaibi also in the starting line-up, it promises to be a highly competitive season curtain raiser.
-source: pcc me