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Yas Marina to stage new series

A new Middle East motorsport series will boast an Abu Dhabi driver on the grid and will stage two race meetings as round three.

A new Middle East motorsport series will boast an Abu Dhabi driver on the grid and will stage two race meetings at the Yas Marina circuit. The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, a 12-race series where each driver will drive the new Porsche 911, was launched yesterday and Abu Dhabi's Khaled al Qubaisi is one of 13 drivers who will take to the starting line in Bahrain on Friday for the first of six rounds.

Qubaisi will debut on his home track at Yas Marina on February 5-6 - which will be round three of the series. Round four will take place at the same venue on February 19-20. Reem International Circuit in Riyadh will stage the final two rounds at the end of March. Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdul Aziz al Faisal will challenge Qubaisi for the chequered flag, along with his cousin Prince Khalid al Faisal and Bahrain's Shaikh Salman bin Rashid al Khalifa.

The race is the latest one-manufacturer series to be launched by the German manufacturer, with successful competitions already under way in Brazil, New Zealand and America. "Like its counterparts in Brazil, New Zealand and America, the new GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East series will be run at the same very high technical level as the Porsche Carrera Cup series which has been staged so successfully worldwide over the last 16 years," said Walter Lechner, head of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.

Organisers are also hoping the series will aid the development of talented drivers in the Middle East region. Drivers from all over the Arab world will be taking part in the inaugural season. "It is designed to develop the competitive driving skills of Arab and Middle East-based drivers standing on the edge of professional motorsport," added Lechner. @Email:zgriffiths@thenational.ae

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