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Al Nabooda Racing line up new double title bid in Porsche GT3 Cup seriesAfter landing team and drivers’ titles last season, Schmid, Al Azhari are hungry for more success in Middle East’s top race series

Al Nabooda Racing have set their sights on another double championship triumph in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, and name an unchanged driver line-up for the 2013-14 series starting next month.

Porsche Centre Dubai, Al Nabooda Automobiles, the authorised Porsche dealer in Dubai and Northern Emirates, announced today that they have retained the services of Clemens Schmid and Karim Al Azhari, who will be defending the team and individual drivers’ titles they secured last season.

Schmid won seven of the 12 rounds in the 2012-13 campaign on his way to capturing the drivers’ crown, while Al Azhari finished third overall as the pair combined to bring the team title in the Middle East’s top circuit racing series to Dubai for the first time.

The two drivers will take the wheel of identical brand new 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Cars when the one-make series enters its fourth season on 29-30 November, with the first of six double race weekends taking place at Bahrain International Circuit.

“We’re delighted to be able to partner Clemens and Karim in our team for 2013-14, and look forward to what we hope will be another tremendously successful season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East,” said Mr. K. Rajaram, CEO, Al Nabooda Automobiles, at an official team press conference today.
“When we established Al Nabooda Racing eight years ago, we were showing our commitment as the largest single Porsche dealership in the world to promoting the brand’s strong link with motor racing, and its long and successful record in the sport.”

“Our decision to enter a two-car team in the Porsche GT3 Cup series for the first time last season was a further statement of intent by the company, and we now look again this season to reinforce our partnership with Porsche.”

Vijay Rao, Team Manager and General Manager, Porsche Centre Dubai, Al Nabooda Automobiles, said: “We set out last season to become the leading team in the GT3 Cup series. That was always our priority, so we were thrilled to achieve our target, and very happy to see Clemens land the drivers’ title.

“To secure a team championship you need drivers capable of winning races, and both Clemens and Karim were up to the task. They showed that they are both great drivers in their own right, while they were always prepared to put the team first.”

“Our success last season has made us hungry for more, but we won’t be taking anything for granted and must work even harder this time to get the results we want.”

Al Azhari secured his first GT3 Cup win in the final round in Bahrain last season. He will be building on a highly successful partnership with Al Nabooda Racing, which saw him win the Gulf Radical Championship in 2005 and 2006, followed by successive UAE GT racing titles in 2007 and 2008.

He said: “Last season was a fantastic one for the team, and I thoroughly enjoyed partnering Clemens in Al Nabooda Racing colours. It was a big thrill to win the team championship, and to get my first race victory in the series, and I was very happy for Clemens as he was the outstanding driver and fully deserved his title.
“I have a very close relationship with Al Nabooda Automobiles and I’m grateful again for the chance to compete for Al Nabooda Racing at the Middle East’s top race circuits in the fantastic Porsche GT3 Cup car.

“Clemens and I receive tremendous support from the team to get the cars right for each race, and to get the best out of each other. We’re now looking forward to more success with the team. It will be anything but easy to repeat what we did last season though, as the GT3 Cup series has proved itself to be the best, and the toughest, in the Middle East, and standards keep rising.”

Schmid, who has gained more experience in recent months in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Europe, said: “I was very honoured to be given the chance to drive for Al Nabooda Racing in the Porsche GT3 Cup series last season, and enjoyed being team-mates with Karim.

“We were able to help each other a lot, and of course I was very happy to win the drivers’ title. Naturally, I’d like to do that again, but the priority once more is to repay Al Nabooda Racing for its trust and support by retaining the team championship. The level of competition will probably go up a gear again this season, so it will be more difficult to win, and we’ll work as hard as possible to get the right results for the team.”

10/13/2013