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Porsche - Season 10 review

Season 10 review

Season 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East has been described as the most exciting and challenging season so far with a perfect balance of seasoned professionals and young, exciting regional and European racing talent.

Round 1, Race 1 – Al Zubair victorious in opening race of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 10

Reigning champion Al Faisal Al Zubair of Oman emerged at the top of the driver standings after a heroic performance in the opening race of Season 10 at the Dubai Autodrome. The race was a true clash of champions, with Al Zubair coming out on top against new rival and closest challenger Tio Ellinas, the 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion. The Omani enjoyed a perfect start to the defence of his title on a sun-drenched afternoon, crossing the line just 0.399 seconds ahead of Ellinas.

Round 1, Race 2 – Ellinas claims top spot in second race of Season 10

Cypriot driver Tio Ellinas took the second race of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 10 in one of the most intense battles of the season. In the opening race of the second day, Ellinas drove a flawless race to take a well-deserved maiden victory over Al Zubair, who finished second.  Third place was seized by newcomer Berkay Besler who benefitted from a 10 second time penalty imposed on the American Michael De Quesada.

Round 1, Race 3 – Al Zubair finishes Round 1 with another victory in Dubai

The third race of the championship once again pitted Al Zubair and Ellinas in a compelling duel as one of Europe’s best tried claiming another win against the Omani. Despite constant pressure from a chasing Ellinas, Al Zubair calmly defended his line to win by a margin of 0.344 seconds. De Quesada proved his abundant talent to take the final step of the podium in third.

Round 2, Race 1 – Al Zubair continues to dominate Season 10 of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Al Zubair proved why he’s the biggest name in Middle East motorsport by topping another podium. Qualifying in pole, he conceded four positions in turn one to Isa A. Al Khalifa and Berkay Besler of Turkey due to a poor start. However, the young Omani remained composed in the first two laps to regain his lead back before clocking continuous quick laps and pulling away from the field. Local racer Isa A. Al Khalifa finished in second and de Quesada of the United States of America third.

Round 2, Race 2 – Untouchable Al Zubair claims another heroic victory at Bahrain International Circuit

Race 2 of Bahrain International Circuit’s ‘Speed Weekend’ was dominated by one driver, as Al Faisal Al Zubair continued to make his mark on the Season 10 title. Faced with a challenging start due to an influx of new international drivers, Al Zubair lost his lead at the first turn, only to recover with ease. The young Omani seized the challenge, using his experience to manoeuvre his way back into pole quickly and pull away to leave the battle in his rear-view mirror.

Round 2, Race 3 – Al Zubair tops podium in third race of Round 2

Al Zubair continued his scintillating form, taking another victory under the floodlights in Bahrain. The Omani was flawless in securing top spot by a 0.728s gap ahead of Berkay Besler in second. At the end of a captivating second round, Al Zubair accelerated his lead to 29 points in the overall standings, with newcomer Michael de Quesada of the USA behind him in second and Berkay Besler of Turkey in third.

Round 3, Race 1 – Al Zubair rectifies qualifying result with win in Race 1 of Round 3

Al Zubair put on an assertive display at the Dubai Autodrome to take the first race win of the weekend, despite an unusual third-place start. The Omani superstar passed Koehler in the first lap before navigating past Hack shortly after. Berkay Besler of Turkey provided some pressure to the reigning champion midway through the race, but nothing could take Al Zubair’s focus from a top of the podium finish.

Round 3, Race 2 – Al Zubair makes it two wins from two in in Round 3

Championship leader Al Zubair made it two wins from two by claiming top spot in the second race of Round 3. Starting the race in P2, the Omani got off to an assured start, managing to overtake Al Wahaibi at the first corner and pull away from the rest of the field. Frenchman Simmenauer wasn’t far behind to take second, with Leon Koehler of Germany in third.

Round 3, Race 3 – JB Simmanauer claimed first podium finish of the season in the final race

It was a new face on the top of the podium following Race 3 at the Dubai Autodrome, as JB Simmenauer showed the crowds how practice makes perfect. Having finished third in Race 1 and second in Race 2, the Frenchman closed Round 3 with his first ever win in the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. Turkey’s Berkay Besler finished in an impressive second place, with Leon Koehler of Germany taking third.

At the halfway stage of the season, with nine of the 16 race season complete, Al Zubair extended his lead to 41 points ahead of Berkay Besler of Turkey in second and Michael de Quesada of the USA behind him in third.

Round 4, Race 1 – Luxembourg driver returns to retain Yas Marina Circuit crown in Race 1

Almost a year to the day since Dylan Pereira recorded the fastest lap ever recorded in a Porsche GT3 Cup car at Yas Marina Circuit, the Luxembourg driver returned to retain his Round 4 Race 1 crown with a superb display of driving. Aged just 21, Pereira showed no sign of conceding his pole position with a scorching start that left current championship leader Al Faisal Al Zubair stunned. Al Zubair recovered, but lost his position to Berkay Besler of Turkey, who finished second.

Round 4 Race 2 – Al Zubair collects eighth race win in pursuit of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 10 title

Al Zubair added another win to his title campaign following a first-place finish in the opening race of Round 4. The Omani, who finished the race in second, was gifted the win due to a five second time penalty placed on Dylan Pereira for shortcutting turn 18. Having won Race 1 on Friday, Pereira looked poised to take the double win but saw his race result amended from first to third place, as Berkay Besler who ended in third did just enough to finish 4.924 behind him, therefore claiming second spot.

Round 5, Race 1 – Frenchman clinches incredible victory in opening race of Round 5

After a contest packed with drama on the track, 18-year-old J.B. Simmenauer emerged victorious claiming the chequered flag in the opening race of Round 5 at the Bahrain International Circuit. Al Zubair pushed hard for a P1 finish but had to settle for second place, with fellow Omani Khalid Al Wahaibi finishing in third; and with it his first podium finish of the season.

Round 5, Race 2 – Besler takes top spot in Race 2 on Round 5 at the Bahrain International Circuit

Bahrain’s speed weekend lived up to its name with more thrilling racing on day two in Sakhir. Needing to finish the weekend with a lead of 50 points or more to claim a consecutive title, reigning champion Al Faisal Al Zubair fell just short due to some ferocious driving from Turkey’s Besler and Race 1 winner, J.B. Simmenauer. The race finished with Besler in first place, Simmenauer in second, Kohler in third and Al Zubair in fourth.

Round 5, Race 3 – Frenchman JB Simmanauer continues fine form taking chequered flag in Race 3

Frenchman Simmanauer continued his fine form from lights out, taking Al Zubair before turn one and holding him off to take his second win of the weekend. Widely considered to be the most exciting race of the season to date, with ferocious driving throughout, in concluded with Simmenauer in first, Besler in second and Al Zubair third.

Round 6, Race 1 – Omani Al Faisal Al Zubair clinches second Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East title

Al Faisal Al Zubair reclaimed his crown as champion of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East after battling through a tough opening race in Round 6. With 14 of the 16-race season complete, Al Zubair headed into the final round knowing that a top ten finish in Race 1 would be enough to secure a consecutive title. Starting in fourth, the Omani drove with the experience of a seasoned professional to finish the race in the top 10, and in doing so gained 9 points to put the championship title firmly out of reach for Turkey’s Berkay Besler.

Round 6, Race 2 – F Turkish driver takes double win in Round 6 of the Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Acting as the official support race to the 2019 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, the international grid of drivers competed in front of a sell-out crowd at the Bahrain International Circuit, where Turkey’s Berkay Besler capped off a fine weekend with another win. Al Zubair finished in second, with France’s J.B. Simmenauer in third.

Season 10 concluded with Al Zubair in top spot, Berkay Besler in second place and JB Simmenauer in third. In fourth was Oman’s Khalid Al Wahaibi, ahead of Saul Hack in fifth.

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