ABU DHABI // The Emirati debutant Masaed al Murar was left to rue the rain after a brief downpour played havoc with the track yesterday and practically rendered the first practice session of the Porsche GT3 Gulf Cup Challenge redundant.
The session was the first of the day's action, but arriving simultaneously was a 20-minute spell of heavy rain, leaving many parts of the track waterlogged. Despite the conditions, Al Murar was sixth fastest, less than five seconds behind the pacesetter, Salman al Khalifa of Bahrain, who clocked 2mins 35.694secs.
Al Murar, 25, said he was pleased with his performance but was frustrated he could not make more use of the practice. "I have raced in the rain only twice before - in Spa and Hockenheim," said Murar, "but this was my first time in the wet at Yas.
"Unfortunately, it was not a big learning experience for me and it likely won't help [today] as it is expected to be dry for the race. It is a little disappointing as the practice was made slightly redundant, but it allowed me to go over my lines and the braking points."
Al Murar, taking to the track for the first time in the one-model series, having made the step up from the Porsche Sports Cup, represented the Emirates alongside compatriot Khaled al Qubaisi and fellow debutant Ibrahim Salloum, who was born in London and raised in Abu Dhabi.
Qubaisi, who raced in the series last year, finished fourth fastest, while Salloum was a little more than four seconds slower and eighth fastest.
In the GP2 series, Englishman Oliver Turvey took pole position. The iSport International driver held off Dani Clos and Sergio Perez to record a fastest lap of 1.48.559 during afternoon qualifying.