x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Clemens Schmid takes Porsche GT3 lead as rivals crash in Saudi Arabia

Al Nabooda Racing's Clemens Schmid claimed back-to-back wins in Round 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.

Clemens Schmid, the Al Nabooda Racing driver.
Clemens Schmid, the Al Nabooda Racing driver.

Al Nabooda Racing's Clemens Schmid claimed back-to-back wins in Round 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at the Reem International Circuit in Saudi Arabia with a scintillating performance in an action-packed race.

After starting in pole position on one of the strongest ever grids in the series, Schmid drove another textbook race to claim maximum points, seeing off challenges from the Saudi Falcons Faisal Binladen, who finished in second, with Mohammed Mattar of Team Bahrain in third.

The reigning champion Abdulaziz Al Faisal dropped from third place to sixth following a collision with his fellow Saudi Fahad Algosaibi on the ninth of 17 laps.

He was fighting his way back through the field when he collided with Kuwait's Zaid Ashkanani on lap 14, rolled twice and went out of the race. He was unhurt.

The result means Schmid has now overtaken the Saudi Falcons driver in the overall standings with 178 points. Al Faisal is second, six points behind, and the UAE's Karim Al Azhari of Al Nabooda is third on 142 points.

Schmid said: "It is a great feeling to win back-to-back races in Reem. The victory means I am leading in the championship standings with four rounds to go and hopefully I can keep hold of top spot. Even though it was comfortable for me, the real action was at the back, with positions changing regularly in the final few laps."

The big guns were once again overwhelmed by the youngsters. Schmid took his position on the front of the grid, Fahad Algosaibi defied his teenage years to start second with Binladen in third.

With two second places in the races in front of his home fans, Binladen said: "I am very happy with my performances. I have performed consistently throughout but could not overtake Clemens who was very fast in this race."

* Agency