Zaid Ashkanani kept his title ambitions alive after winning race one today in the sixth and final round of the 2015/2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, held at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
The meeting is being held as part of BIC’s National Racing Festival, which continues Saturday (March 5).
Starting on the front row from second on the grid, Ashkanani managed to gain the lead in the opening lap and did well to hold on to first position until the chequered flag.
He completed the 12-lap sprint around BIC’s 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix track in 25 minutes 10.891 seconds. It was his first victory of the season.
Ashkanani’s Al Nabooda Racing Team partner and championship leader Jeffrey Schmidt finished a close second. He was a mere 0.267s adrift. Despite being the runner-up, Schmidt remains the favourite to clinch the drivers’ overall crown.
Speaking after the race win, a delighted Zaid Ashkanani said:
“I am really happy with my performance today, it’s my first win of the season and it has felt like a long time coming. It was a very tough battle with my team mate Jeffery, he was really putting the pressure on me from behind but I managed to retain my position and finish in first.”
Pole-sitter Charlie Frijns claimed third place 10.048 seconds from the victory.
The top three overall were also the winners of the Gold class.
The Silver category was won by Prince Saud Al Faisal, while the Bronze was claimed by Rob Frijns. Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa finished second in their category.
After a long, competitive and enthralling season the final outcome of the driver’s championship across all three individual categories, gold, silver and bronze will now be decided tomorrow.
Race two is scheduled for 11.45am on Saturday. Qualifying will be held shortly prior at 10.25am.