Kuwaiti driver Zaid Ashkanani set the pace in a dramatic first qualifying session of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 9 with a blistering lap around the Bahrain International Circuit in new GT3 Cup car.
Ashkanani clocked an impressive 2:03:990 to sit on pole at the top of a 17-car grid, just ahead of Tom Oliphant of Great Britain in second and Qatar-resident Charlie Frijns in third. Fellow team member and father to Charlie, Rob Frijns completes team Frijns Structural Steel ME of Qatar and will start from 16th on the grid.
As with previous years, the opening round of the region’s most successful and professional series is held in support of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 6 Hours of Bahrain weekend. But Season 9 signals the start of a new era as all drivers took to the 5.40 km grand-prix configured track to qualify for Race 1 of Round 1 in control of the next generation of GT3 Cup car, with lap times noticeably quicker thanks to the four-litre six-cylinder flat engine with direct fuel injection delivering 485 hp.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East will consist of six race weekends with 12 races over a period of six months. Drivers will compete across the region with confirmed circuits including Dubai Autodrome, Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain International Circuit.
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