Abdulaziz crowned Porsche GT3 Cup champion
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK DOHA
QATAR’S first encounter with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East under the lights of Losail International Circuit saw the champion in waiting clinch his title earlier than expected.
Though Abdulaziz al Faisal arrived in Doha in a commanding position, he was aware that he might need two more rounds in Bahrain at the end of the month to ensure his second Porsche GT3 Cup triumph in three years.
As the luck would have it, the Saudi instead 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 pole driver Clemens Schmid, 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.