Schmid starts Porsche Gt3 Cup Challenge defence with easy win

Clemens Schmid won the opening round of the fifth season in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. Courtesy organisers
Powered by automated translation

Clemens Schmid enjoyed the perfect start to his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East title defence, as he dominated the opening round of the season in Bahrain yesterday.

The Austrian driver led from start to finish to win by 9.5 seconds over debutant driver Zaid Ashkanani in his Al Nabooda Racing car.

“It is the perfect start to the season and the defence of my title,” Schmid said.

“I have good experience of driving on this track and thanks to Supercup I know the new car very well.

“I used them to my advantage and took full control of the race.”

Kuwaiti driver Ashkanani was thrilled to finish on the podium in his first race since joining the series.

“It is a great feeling,” he said. “It is definitely the highlight of my career so far and I am very proud of my achievement.

“The plan was to maintain my position throughout and try and close Schmid down. He got off to a great start and accelerated from the field.”

It was a good day for Al Nabooda, who are the defending constructors’ champions, as Schmid’s success was backed up by Karim Al Azhari finishing third in the second Al Nabooda car.

He held off a strong challenge from debutant Sky Dubai Falcons racer Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum to take the final step on the podium, with Abdulaziz Al Faisal, the two-time series champion who was second to Schmid last season, finishing in fifth place.

Due to qualifying for the second race being cancelled, today’s race will see the cars line up in the order in which they started today’s race.

That means Schmid and Ashkanani locking out the front row of the grid, with Al Faisal and Sheikh Hasher on the second row, and Al Azhari completing the top five.

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE