Saeed Al Mehairi takes his chance at home and it pays off with in at Dubai Autodrome
DUBAI // Saeed Al Mehairi gave Skydive Dubai Falcons their first win in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, as the Emirati triumphed in Race 1 of Round 2 at the Dubai Autodrome on Friday.
Teammate Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum also finished on the podium in third in a memorable day for the Dubai team, who, despite many podium finishes in their debut season in 2013/14, had never managed to win a race until Friday.
Al Nabooda Racing’s Clemens Schmid, who won both opening rounds, had been dominant in qualifying. However, the championship leader suffered from a bad start, which allowed Al Mehairi to take the lead from the first turn, which he retained for the rest of the race, finishing ahead of Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani and Sheikh Hasher.
On his guest appearance, Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al Faisal finished fourth ,with Schmid fifth. “I’m really struggling to describe how it feels for me at the moment,” Al Mehairi said. “It’s an incredible feeling to win the race, especially in my hometown.
“I’m just so happy and glad to take the victory for myself and for the team. This is a dream come true and I’m hoping for the same tomorrow. I didn’t expect the start to happen the way it did, but I saw a chance and took it.
“I was close to winning last year, but I made a mistake and this year I’ve learnt from this mistake. Today, I won the race ,which is about as good as it gets and shows the lesson learned.”
After taking maximum points from the opening races in Bahrain, Schmid was disappointed with an uncharacteristically poor start. “It was very hard to recover,” Schmid said. “Turn one set the tone and I soon realised this was probably not going to be my race. Tomorrow is a new day.”
As the cars entered the first corner with Ashkanani leading, Al Mehairi second and Schmid third, a battle for position saw the Emirati come out on top, with Ashkanani second and Schmid in sixth after a spin.
As the race progressed, Zaid Ashkanani pressed Al Mehairi, but the Emirati’s composure allowed him to slowly build a gap between first and second.
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Published: December 5, 2014 04:00 AM