Al Nabooda Racing aim higher after flying start to Porsche GT3 Cup season

Al Nabooda Racing aim higher after flying start to Porsche GT3 Cup season

After an impressive start to the new season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Cup Middle East, Al Nabooda Racing have immediately set their sights higher as they look to reinforce their bid for a double title success in Saudi Arabia.

Jeffrey Schmidt, who scored back-to-back victories in the opening race weekend at Bahrain International Circuit, believes his new partnership with Zaid Ashkanani can lift the team to greater heights as the season progresses.

The pair combined well to take Al Nabooda Racing to successive team wins in Bahrain as they opened up a 12-point overall lead in the team championship which now heads for Reem International Circuit in Saudi for Rounds 3-4 on 4-5 December.

But Schmidt, who has taken a 4-point lead in the individual driver’s standings, believes he can get more out of himself while Ashkanani’s best is still to come.

“Zaid did really well in the second race when he climbed from seventh on the grid to third place at the finish, because that’s not easy to do,” said the Swiss driver.

“It was good to have two Al Nabooda drivers on the podium and we have made a good start to the season. But if we had made it a 1-2 finish it would have been perfect, and that’s the target for next time.”
Ashkanani, who is also contesting the GP3 series this season, is as a result having to switch between a single seater car and the Porsche GT3 Cup Car and finished fifth in the opening race in Bahrain.

But after his superb climb from seventh to a podium place less than 24 hours later the Kuwaiti driver said: “It was great. The car felt really good. I was really comfortable and kept moving forward, and I’m really happy with the result.

“It’s a really good start and a good sign for the season ahead. I’m doing two series and it’s quite difficult to switch from one car to another. But we managed to win the team title in both races and that’s a satisfying result.”

Looking ahead to the next race weekend in Saudi, Al Nabooda Racing team manager Vijay Rao said: “We couldn’t have hoped for much more in Bahrain, and Jeffrey and Zaid have already formed a good understanding. “They’ll draw a lot of extra strength from each other as the season progresses, and the team can’t wait to get back on the track at Reem.”

Mr. K. Rajaram, CEO of Al Nabooda Automobiles added, “It was a great start to the opening weekend of the cup, both Schmidt and Ashkanani performed excellently. Everyone was thrilled with the results, and we will carry the momentum into the next race.”

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East – team standings

1. Al Nabooda Racing UAE 88pts
2. Sky Dive Dubai Falcons UAE 76pts
3. Al Faisal Racing KSA 51pts
4. Team Bahrain BAH 41pts
5. Frijns Structural Steel ME NED 31pts

Drivers championship

1. Jeffrey Schmidt 50pts
2. Ryan Cullen 46pts
3. Saeed Al Mehairi 38pts
4. Hasher Al Maktoum 38pts
5. Zaid Ashkanani 38pts
6. Wolfgang Triller 28pts
7. Abdulaziz Al Faisal 26pts
8. Saud Al Faisal 25pts
9. Isa Al Khalifa 24pts
10. Magnus Öhman 22pts

1. Zaid Ashkanani and Jeffrey Schmidt displaying their trophies with Al Nabooda Automobiles CEO, Mr. K. Rajaram.

2. Schmidt powered his way to back-to-back race wins in Bahrain and now looks for more of the same in Saudi.
3. Zaid Ashkanani and Jeffrey Schmidt with Al Nabooda Racing team
manager Vijay Rao.

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