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Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, Porsche GT3 Dubai, Porsche Cup Challenge Dubai, GT3 CUP CHALLENGE MIDDLE EAST, Middle East GT3 Porsche Cup Challenge



Al Nabooda’s Schmid first, Ashkanani second, Al Maktoum third

Schmid back on top as Al Maktoum enjoys further success in Race 2 of Round 2 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

If you drive often or have watched the chronicles of crazed drivers during rush hour from the passenger seat, then you know that driving these days has become risky business.

While it is impossible to completely prevent accidents and crashes on the road, it is possible to avoid the likelihood by learning some useful defense driving skills.

With the 2014 races now at an end, the year will finish with Al Nabooda Racing’s Clemens Schmid at the top of the Drivers’ Championship after he took victory in Race 2 of Round 2 of the region’s most professional racing series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, at Dubai Autodrome this past weekend.

Defending champion of Kuwait Zaid Ashkanani finished in second place ahead of Emirati driver Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum of Skydive Dubai Falcons, his second podium of the weekend.

After a poor start cost him valuable points in Race 1, Schmid made amends in Race 2 as he bolted off the line from second place on the grid and was ahead of Ashkanani as they approached turn one. As the race progressed the UAE-based driver held off the speedy Kuwaiti throughout to ensure he bounced straight back following a fifth place finish in Race 1 one day earlier, securing vital championship points in the process.

A disappointing result in Race 1 for Schmid but Race 2 belonged to the Al Nabooda Racing driver who extends his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship. Speaking after his victory over Ashkanani by 0.586 seconds Schmid said, “It definitely wasn’t an easy race although I had a good start and got out in front. Leading from the front can often be difficult as the there is no room for error and Zaid (Ashkanani) was right behind me the whole way. After yesterday’s disappointing results I was keen to do better but I was pushed all the way by the competition. Obviously I’m delighted to get the win in front of the home fans and secure those crucial points for myself and the team. It’s a great end to a great weekend of racing.”

For Skydive Dubai it was mixed fortunes in Race 2, although the duo will consider the race weekend a strong development and ultimately a success especially in the race for the team championship. Following Saeed Al Mehairi’s historic victory in Race 1 the Emirati as unable to replicate his form in the second outing qualifying in eighth position and eventually finishing the race in fifth. His teammate Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum managed to produce a more consistent performance however, qualifying in fifth and finishing in third just as he did in the previous race.

Speaking after the race and following back to back podiums on his home circuit Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum said, “It’s definitely been one of our best weekends. Saeed didn’t do as well today as yesterday but overall we are happy and I am very happy to have secured a podium in each race. It was a tough race and important for our team ambitions to get the points on the board so for that reason we have a lot of positives to take from here. Now we have a few weeks to rest and recover from the weekends and come out with all cylinders firing in Qatar next month.”

The scene was set from qualifying with Zaid Ashkanani posting the fastest time in the dying seconds to secure pole ahead of title rival Clemens Schmid, with AlFaisal third. A poor start from Ashkanani allowed Schmid to grab first off the line with AlFaisal also in the hunt to pass the Kuwaiti.

Ashkanani defended second as the first lap progressed with Hasher Al Maktoum up in fourth and chasing AlFaisal for third, which he secured early on. The battle in the middle of the pack was tight with Charlie Frijns in fifth followed by Bandar Alesayi, Saeed Al Mehairi and Ahmad Al Harthy.

Clearly focused on regaining his lost position Al Harthy fought to retake seventh from Al Mehairi but the Emirati seemed to have a reply to every attack with the Dubai Autodrome track unforgiving for those who stray off the racing line in any attempt to overtake.

With close competition at the front, Schmid, Ashkanani and Al Maktoum developed a healthy lead as Frijns squeezed past AlFaisal following a spin from Bandar Aleyasi. Al Mehairi finally got the better of AlFaisal to move up to fifth while the Saudi driver managed to hold off the challenge of Al Harthy. The finishing result to complete the top six positions of Race 2 Round 2 saw Schmid - first, Ashkanani -second, Al Maktoum - third, Frijns – fourth, Al Mehairi – fifth and AlFaisal –sixth.

Following a winter break the region’s leading drivers will line-up in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the New Year as the star attractions at Losail International Circuit Autodrome for Race 1 and 2 of Round 3 on Friday and Saturday the 23rd and 24th of January.

For the full race schedule, driver profiles or latest news on GT Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East please visit the official website:

or follow series’ news at or on Twitter @PorscheGT3CCME.

Overall championship standings after Race 2 Round 2 – Top 6

  Name Country Team Points
1st Clemens Schmid UAE Al Nabooda Racing 94
2nd Zaid Ashkanani Kuwait BuzaidGT 90
3rd Hasher Al Maktoum UAE Skydive Dubai Falcons 84
4th Charlie Frijns NED Team Frijns 76
5th Saeed Al Mehairi UAE Skydive Dubai Falcons 65
6th Raed Raffii BAH Team Bahrain 55

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