Jeffrey Schmidt to ‘unleash the best’ as Yas Marina welcomes back Porsche GT3 Cup
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East resumes from its midwinter break and returns to Abu Dhabi this month for the first time in three years with Al Nabooda Racing driver Jeffrey Schmidt keen to build on his victory last time out in Saudi Arabia.
In two weeks the Middle East’s most competitive drivers will return to the track Yas Marina Circuit with two races scheduled on Friday, January 22.
For some drivers the break since Round 2 at Saudi Arabia’s Al Reem Circuit in early December will have been a welcomed chance to reflect and recover from a gruelling opening to Season 7. For others such as Schmidt, who heads the overall championship by 12 points from his two consecutive round wins, it is all about maintaining that form.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to wrap up 2015 with the win in Saudi Arabia. I’m pleased with my performances so far, but I remain focused on what is a big year ahead,” he said.
“To open another year of racing in Abu Dhabi is just perfect, and I hope that the excellent conditions at Yas Marina Circuit can help me unleash the best in me.
“I know that I’ve got more in the tank, and I’ve spent considerable time with the team over the break to assess every inch of my races so far this season. Hopefully it will show.”
Al Nabooda Racing Team occupy two of the three top spots in the standings. The UAE-based team secured the services of Kuwaiti driver Zaid Ashkanani at the start of the season, which has truly paid dividends for the UAE outfit as he sits third in the standings on 82 points.
“It’s been a great experience for me” at Al Nabooda Racing, “and I really enjoy being part of the team. To work in tandem with a talented teammate like Jeffrey is a privilege, and together we’re always looking to push each other to go as fast as we can.
“Thankfully the results have been excellent, and now I can’t wait to race in Abu Dhabi and give our fans something more to cheer about next weekend,” Ashkanani said.
Al Nabooda Racing sit comfortably atop of the team standings as well, with Schmidt having won the opening races of the campaign at Bahrain, too.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East heads to the UAE for its next three rounds across January and February, closely followed by the return to Bahrain in early March.
Overall Driver Standings after Round 2 (Top 6)
Name (Country) Team – Points
1. Jeffrey Schmidt (UAE) Al Nabooda Racing – 100
2. Ryan Cullen (IRL) Cullen Racing – 86
3. Zaid Ashkanani (Kuwait) Al Nabooda Racing – 82
4. Hasher Al Maktoum (UAE) Skydive Dubai Falcons – 69
5. Saeed Al Mehairi (UAE) Skydive Dubai Falcons – 67
2015-2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East race schedule
Round 3: Race 1 and Race 2 (Jan 22) at Yas Marina Circuit, UAE
Round 4: Race 1 and Race 2 (Jan 29 and 30) at Dubai Autodrome, UAE
Round 5: Race 1 and Race 2 (Feb 19) at Dubai Autodrome, UAE
Round 6: Race 1 and Race 2 (March 4 and 5) at Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain
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Updated: January 11, 2016 04:00 AM