The UAE's Karim Al Azhari scored his first podium finish in only his third drive for Dubai's Al Nabooda Racing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East in Doha on Friday night
Al Azhari overtook the Saudi driver Saeed Al Mouri on the final corner to grab third place in a race won by the championship leader Abdulaziz Al Faisal.
Al Faisal, who is Al Mouri's teammate with the Saudi Falcons, was the first ever Porsche GT3 Cup race winner when the series was launched in Bahrain in December 2009, and his latest success, under the brilliant lights of Losail International Circuit, was equally significant.
The Porsche one-make series a familiar attraction in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain and Reem, Saudi Arabia, was making its debut in Qatar and 18 cars started in Doha, the penultimate round of the season.
From the start there was drama, as triple race winner Clemens Schmid made a disastrous start from pole position, dropping to fifth place by the time he reached the first corner.
There were no such problems for Abdulaziz who powered his way ahead and produced an immaculate drive en route to his fourth victory of the season, his 19th GT3 Cup win overall, and a 24-point championship lead over compatriot Bandar Alesayi who could manage only fifth place.
Schmid had an eventful race, eventually winning a personal battle with AAl Mouri, to claim second position. He was followed by Al Azhari.
The final round is tonight in Doha.
Championship positions after Round 9
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Saudi Falcons - 168pts
2. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) Saudi GT Racing - 144pts
3. Saeed Al Mouri KSA) Saudi Falcons- 114pts
4. Clemens Schmid (AUT)- 106pts
5. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM) Oman Air Racing - 92pts