Austrian Clemens Schmid scored a commanding victory in the penultimate round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Bahrain International Circuit today.
The race became a dress rehearsal for next month’s Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix, and Schmid survived an early slip to win by just under ten seconds from Saudi Arabia’s Bandar Alesayi to climb to third place in the 12-round championship.
The UAE’s Karim Al Azhari secured his second podium finish for Al Nabooda Racing since entering the Porsche GT3 Cup series at the half way point. Swiss driver Armin Schmid, Saudi’s Saeed Al Mouri and Turkey’s Cengiz Oguzhan completed the top six.
The race was run over 12 laps on the Bahrain Grand Prix Circuit, and after recording his eighth pole position of the season, Schmid briefly lost the lead to Al Azhari early on but recovered quickly and cruised to his fifth win of the campaign.
Alesayi later climbed above Al Azhari to underline his grip on second place overall in the series, while newly-crowned champion Abdulaziz Al Faisal, who was only fourth fastest in qualifying, dropped to seventh after a late spin.
1. Clemens Schmid (AUT) 25:32.344
2. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing +9.953s
3. Karim Al Azhari (UAE) Al Nabooda Racing +14.210s
4. Armin Schmid (CH) Team TCE +19.122s
5. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons +34.408s
6. Cengiz J. Oguzhan (TUR) +36.175s
7. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons +41.711s
8. Saadon Al Kuwari (QAT) Gerbhard Motor Sport ME +42.095s
9. Rob Frijns (NL) Frins Structural Steel +42.245s
10. Manfred Ender (AUT) Frins Structural Steel +44.311s
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons 195pts (champion)
2. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing 162pts
3. Clemens Schmid (AUT) 146pts
4. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons 140pts
5. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM) Oman Air Racing 106pts
6. Saadon Al Kuwari (QA) 96pts
7. Stephane Lemeret (BEL) Al Nabooda Racing 86pts
8. Armin Schmid CH Team TCE 81pts
9. Karim Al Azhari (UAE) Al Nabooda Racing 59pts
10. Hannes Waimer (GER) Team TCE 55pts
1. Saadon Al Kuwari (QA) 96pts
2. Armin Schmid (CH) Team TCE 81pts
3. Hans Guido Riegel (GER) Haribo Racing 39pts
4. Mark Thomas (CAN) 27pts
1. Hannes Waimer (GER) 55pts
2. Manfred Ender (AUT) Frins Structural Steel 42pts
3. Rob Frijns (NL) Frins Structural Steel 40pts
4. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 35pts