Season 7 of the region’s leading one-make series returns to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time in over two years between 3-5 December, with father and son Doha residents Rob and Charlies Frijns of Frijns Structural Steel Middle East both looking for a podium finishes.
The season opening race ended disappointingly for highly acclaimed Charlie Frijns who failed to score any points after exiting the race with an error on lap 2 while sitting in second place having started in pole position. But the younger Frijns was masterful in forcing himself back into the fold during the second race which ended in a respectable sixth place all accidents and lack of luck considered.
Frijn’s target is still to win the drivers title in Season 7 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East despite a slower start than planned, and come this weekend’s greatly anticipated second leg at the illustrious Al Reem International Circuit outside of Riyadh, the expectation levels are right back on the podium:
“Racing is always going to be a tough sport. Anything can happen, and whoever is the best prepared and able to come back from disappointments are in good stead to achieve greatness. We’re all here to win and to prove ourselves on the world stage, and for me it’s all about going to Saudi Arabia with a positive mind-set. My team and I have left Bahrain with work to do, and I for one am hopeful to lay down our challenge for the season this weekend,” Charlie Frijns said.
With the competitors at Skydive Dubai Falcons and Al Nabooda Racing starting the new campaign strongly, particularly through the latter’s Jeffrey Schmidt who was victorious in both opening races, Frijns knows he needs a quick response:
“It was always going to be tough, but that is the nature of world-class motorsport. There are so many talented drivers like Schmidt and Zaid Ashkanani at Al Nabooda and the guys at Dubai Skydive Falcons, but we believe that we’ve got what it takes to be challenging and the stage is kind of set for a really competitive round 2 this weekend in KSA. I can’t wait to get going.”
For Al Nabooda Racing, the most successful team in recent years, it has been a perfect start to Season 7 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East with Jeffrey Schmidt dominating procedures ahead of Ryan Cullen in second and newly joined teammate Zaid Ashkanani in third.
For the senior Frijns in team Frijns Structural Steel Middle East, father Rob Frijns every race and point counts in a long season ahead. Speaking ahead of Round 2 in Saudi Arabia Rob Frijns said: “Although the season feels like it lasts a long time from November to March each individual qualifying session and race seems fly past in seconds. You have to seize your chance and there is really no room to make a mistake. The pressure is high and so are the stakes for those competing at every level. I want to do well in my category but also support Charlie in the team standings against professional teams like Al Nabooda Racing and Skydive Dubai Falcons. No matter what happens we’ll try our best and have fun on the way.”
While all eyes will be on the thrilling encounter between the two Dubai outfits, there is considerable anticipation brewing in the air for the homecoming of Saudi supremo Abdulaziz AlFaisal, the most successful driver in the history of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, who is back in the game with a new team, AlFaisal Racing, which features his younger brother Saud AlFaisal.
Regarded as the purest form of racing with all drivers competing in identical fifth generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cups, the unique one-make series will consist of 12 races between November 2015 and March 2016.
The drivers will now travel to Al Reem International Circuit in Saudi Arabia for an action-packed four days of racing, before three UAE rounds in a row will kick start the New Year across January and February, closely followed by the return to Bahrain for the climactic conclusion to Season 7 in early March.
The drivers will arrive at Al Reem International Circuit in Saudi Arabia this Thursday for an action-packed three days of racing. Race 1 takes place at 4pm on Friday 4th December followed by Race 2 on Saturday 5th December also at 4pm.
After racing in Saudi Arabia, the championships heads to the UAE for three rounds in a row to kick start the New Year across January and February, closely followed by the return to Bahrain for the climactic conclusion to Season 7 in early March.
The 2015-2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East race schedule is:
Round 2 –
Race 1- 4th Dec 2015 – 4pm
Race 2- 5th Dec 2015 – 4pm
Al Reem International Circuit, KSA
Race 1 – 22nd Jan 2016
Race 2 - 22nd Jan 2016
Yas Marina Circuit, UAE
Race 1- 29th Jan 2016
Race 2- 30th Jan 2016
Dubai Autodrome, UAE
Race 1 - 19th Feb 2016
Race 2 - 19th Feb 2016
Dubai Autodrome, UAE
Race 1 - 4th March 2016
Race 2 - 5th March 2016
Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain
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