x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Al Gosaibi wants to make home crowd proud at Riyadh

The youngest driver to race a Porsche worldwide, the Saudi-born driver is gearing up for his return to the scene of his debut at home, the Reem International Circuit in Riyadh, in January.

This time last year, Fahad al Gosaibi was still buzzing from the adrenaline accumulated following his historic debut in the Middle East Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.

On December 12, 2009, the Saudi-born driver had competed at the Bahrain International Circuit, finishing on the third step of the podium and becoming, at 16 years and 131 days, the youngest driver to race a Porsche worldwide.

Four months later, he had strengthened his burgeoning reputation by triumphing in his home race near Riyadh to be crowned the youngest winner in the history of Porsche one-make racing.

"A really special moment", is how he described it. He would go on to finish sixth of 12 drivers in the 12-race series.

Now, with less than five weeks before he returns to the Reem International Circuit in Riyadh for the first time this season, al Gosaibi is hoping to emulate last year's achievement.

"Reem International Circuit is one of my favourite tracks and being in Saudi with all the support I am shown, I really want to win and to make everybody proud," he said. "My goal for the season is to win the championship. I know it will be tough, because it's only my second year racing, but I see it as my last chance."

Al Gosaibi will graduate from his high school in Bahrain at the end of the school year and plans to study industrial engineering at university in North America.

"I have applied to several schools in the US and Canada and now we are just looking to see which is closest to racing facilities because I definitely don't want to stop competing," he said.

"I should hear which of my applications have been successful soon and then I can start to investigate what local championships they have."

Al Gosaibi's compatriot, Prince Abdulaziz al Faisal, leads the standings, with al Gosaibi 15 points adrift.

Rounds five and six of the Middle East Challenge take place in Saudi Arabia on January 19 and 20.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae