x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Schmid stays in the hunt behind leader before final Porsche GT3 Cup race

The defending champion and Austrian is confident of overhauling the leader with one race to go in Manama.

Zaid Ashkanani came in the front at Manama, Bahrain, followed in by Clemens Schmid and the rest of the pack in the penultimate race of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. Courtesy Jorge Ferrari / March 7, 2014
Zaid Ashkanani came in the front at Manama, Bahrain, followed in by Clemens Schmid and the rest of the pack in the penultimate race of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. Courtesy Jorge Ferrari / March 7, 2014

Clemens Schmid of the UAE’s Al Nabooda Racing team finished second but lost points to series leader Zaid Ashkanani, who led from start to finish, setting up dramatic final race in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East season today at the Bahrain International Circuit.

“I wanted the victory but second place is a good result,” said Schmid, the defending series champion. “We are still very much in the competition and know what must be done.”

Ashkanani, the Kuwaiti who drives for Buzaid GT, expanded his lead over Schmid to five points, 224-219. He wins the title by finishing third or better.

Before the race, Schmid spoke of the need to qualify first. However, he started behind both Ashkanani and Charlie Frijns. He passed the latter, but was unable to catch the Kuwaiti.

“Qualifying wasn’t perfect but I made the most of it,” Schmid said. “Charlie didn’t make it easy for me during the race, and by the time I was able to get past him Zaid had opened up quite a big lead, which I wasn’t able to close.

“Tomorrow is a new day, and we have a great opportunity.

“Let’s hope is on our side.”

Al Nabooda Racing remains in first position, in the team competition, with the series debutants Skydive Dubai Falcons moving into second position.

Skydive’s Emirati duo of Saeed Al Mehairi and Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum finished fourth and sixth, respectively.

Follow us on Twitter at SprtNationalUAE