Ryan Cullen raced to an impressive victory in the season-opener of the 2016/2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.

Cullen secured a pole-to-flag victory after a tight battle with Dylan Pereira in the 12-lap sprint around Bahrain International Circuit’s (BIC) 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix track. Only 0.035 seconds separated the pair. Cullen took the chequered flag in a total race time of 25 minutes 18.935 seconds.

Tom Oliphant finished third overall 3.943s behind the victor.

Meanwhile, two of Bahrain’s brightest young racers were on the podium in the Porsche GT3 GCC Rookie Class. His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa was second while Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa clinched third place. They were ranked behind winner Al Faisal Al Zubair of Oman.

The top three overall were competing in the championship’s gold class.

In the silver, Bandar Alesayi was the victor. He finished ahead of Al Zubair and His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla. In the bronze category, star Bahraini racer Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa clinched first place. Magnus Ohman of Sweden was the runner-up and Shaikh Isa bin Salman was third.

Race two in the first round of the Porsche GT3 Cup is scheduled for a 12.45pm start on Saturday.

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