Dennis Olsen, Pepe Oriola and Gianni Morbidelli set the practice pace in their respective championships today, held in support of the 2016 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Olsen topped the practice timesheet in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, while Oriola and Morbidelli led a practice session apiescace in the TCR International Series.

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Porsche GT3 CC ME
Porsche GT3 CC ME

The Porsche GT3 Cup is holding a pair of non-championship races this weekend, having only recently completed a thrilling 2016 season. TCR is holding the first round of its 2016 campaign in Sakhir.

Porsche GT3 Practice 1

  1. Dennis Olsen 2:05.255
  2. Jeffrey Schmidt +0.138s
  3. Zaid Ashkanani +0.234s

Bahrain had three drivers competing in the one-make series. They were classified eighth through 10th. His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla led the national heroes with a best lap of 2:08.585.

Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa followed with a 2:08.553 lap, and Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was right behind on 2:09.317.

The Porsche GT3 Cup action continues Saturday with Qualifying at 12noon and then the first 10-lap race of the weekend at 4.25pm.

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TCR International Series

TCR International Series
TCR International Series

TCR International Series Practice 1

  1. Pepe Oriola 2:13.069
  2. Gianni Morbidelli +0.413s
  3. Aku Pellinen +0.755s

Bahrain’s two drivers, Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Hussain Karimi, had solid results on their debut in TCR cars. Shaikh Salman was classified 17th out of the 19 participants with a best lap of 2:19.834. Karimi followed one position behind 11.269s off the pace.

TCR International Series Practice 2

  1. Gianni Morbidelli 2:13.347
  2. Pepe Oriola +0.424s
  3. Jean-Karl Vernay +0.437s

Shaikh Salman was this time ranked 17th after improving his best lap to 2:18.689, while Karimi was 19th as he also raised his game with a lap of 2:23.509.

Racing in the TCR resumes Saturday with Qualifying at 1pm, setting the grid for the season’s opening race at 7.30pm.

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