x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Family rival adds fresh incentive

Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz al Faisal put his dominant start to the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge to the competitive relationship with cousin teammate Prince Khalid al Faisal.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz al Faisal puts his dominant start to the inaugural Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge down to the competitive relationship he has with Prince Khalid al Faisal, his teammate and cousin. Al Faisal has won four of the first five races in the championship, with rounds six and seven taking place at the Yas Marina Circuit today and tomorrow. His lead at the top of the standings is 29 points and he puts his success down to the challenge from his cousin.

"We fight sometimes, but it's all friendly," he said. "Khalid's not going to let me pass him so I can get the points. If he can win, he's going to push to do that. "Actually, I think it's the rivalry that gives us the upper edge. It gives us the maximum push on the track because we know we are in competition with each other and we push each other to the maximum. "After all, he knows everything that I know, so I approach every race knowing I need to drive at my very best to win."

The objective of the GT3 Cup, which first got under way on the race card at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2009, is to identify the best Arab and local-based talent in the Middle East, while providing a platform for entry into GT and sports car racing. "You can play around a little with the set-up of the car, but not much," the 26-year-old added. "It really comes down to the driver to be honest; how well he adapts to the conditions, to the car, to the track.

Of his strategy for the second half of the season, he said: "It's like a psychological battle in my mind. If I go in to the race thinking I'm going to take it easy, then I might not be so likely to take risks, but I know deep down if I get a chance to win I'm going to take it." @Email:gmeenaghan@thenational.ae