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Abdulaziz crowned Porsche GT3 Cup champion in Qatar


Doha. Qatar’s first encounter with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East was a landmark occasion from the start, and a weekend of spectacular race action under the lights of Losail International Circuit saw a champion in waiting clinch his title earlier than expected.

Abdulaziz Al Faisal had arrived in Doha in a commanding position, but fully expected that he would need two more rounds in Bahrain at the end of the month to ensure his second Porsche GT3 Cup triumph in three years.

Instead, the Saudi found himself celebrating on a bitterly cold Saturday night at Losail after a first corner disaster in Round 10 of the 12-round one-make series took his only remaining challenger, Bandar Alesayi, out of the race.

By that point, Abdulaziz had squeezed ahead of Clemens Schmid who had started in pole position for the second time in 24 hours, although the young Austrian driver fought back to claim his fourth victory of the season.

Given an unassailable championship lead thanks to his second position on the night, Abdulaziz was followed home by Oman’s Ahmad Al Harthy in third, and for the second night in succession Qatar was able to celebrate a double success.

Just as they had done in Round 9 the previous evening, Saadon Al Kuwari topped the intermediate class Michelin Silver Trophy while fellow-countryman Abdul Rahman Al Thani took victory in the bronze category Mobil 1 Trophy, the two Qataris finishing fifth and eighth.

Alesayi’s early first lap collision with Karim Al Azhari also dropped the UAE driver from contention, although he recovered to finish Round 10 and came away from Qatar with his reputation enhanced by a first podium finish in the series the previous night, on only his third Porsche GT3 Cup outing.

Round 10 results

1. Clemens Schmid (AUT)

24:34.293

2. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons

24:40.597

3. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM) Oman Air Racing

24:43.966

4. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons

24:56.022

5. Saddon Al Kuwari (QAT) Gerbhard Motor Sport ME

24:57.270

6. Musaed Al Murar (UAE)

25:03.826

7. Armin Schmid (SUI) Team TCE

25:04.271

8. Abdul Rahman Al Thani (QAT)

25:16.251

9. Beat Ganz (SUI)

25:17.762

10. Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa (BAH)

25:20.170

Championship positions after Round 10

1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons (champion)

186pts

2. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing

144pts

3. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons

128pts

4. Clemens Schmid (AUT)

126pts

5. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM) Oman Air Racing

108pts

6. Saddon Al Kuwari (QA)

88pts

7. Stephane Lemeret (BEL) Al Nabooda Racing

86pts

8. Armin Schmid CH Team TCE

67pts

9. Hannes Waimer (GER) Team TCE

50pts

10. Karim Al Azhari (UAE) Al Nabooda Racing

43pts

Michelin Silver Trophy

1. Saddon Al Kuwari (QA)

88pts

2. Armin Schmid (CH) Team TCE

67pts

3. Hans Guido Riegel (GER) Haribo Racing

39pts

4. Mark Thomas (CAN)

27pts

Mobil 1 Trophy

1. Hannes Waimer (GER)

50pts

2. Manfred Ender (AUT) Frins Structural Steel

36pts

3. Rob Frijns (NL) Frins Structural Steel

33pts

4. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing

31pts

3/10/2012