Defending Champions Look For Big Finish To GT3 Cup

Schmid leads from front as Al Nabooda Racing close in on Porsche GT3 Cup title double

Clemens Schmid plans to lead by example and put titles to the back of his mind as Al Nabooda Racing look to underline their dominance of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East when the 2014-15 season reaches its climax during the F1 Grand Prix weekend in Bahrain.

Closing in on a third successive team crown, the defending champions head into the final two races of the season carrying an eight-point advantage, while Schmid leads the individual drivers’ standings by 12 points from Kuwaiti’s Zaid Ashkanani who edged him by a single point last season.

“I’m really confident that we will win both titles,” said Schmid, who is looking to Omani team-mate Ahmad Al Harthy to round off his debut season with Al Nabooda Racing with a flourish at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday and Sunday.

“Ahmad produced one of his best performances of the season in the last race weekend in Dubai and we’re counting on him to do the same in Bahrain.

“My tactics will be the same as always. I won’t be thinking too much about what’s at stake. If you think too much you can make mistakes, so I’ll approach these two races like any others.

“My aim is to win both races to secure both titles. It will be full throttle from the start. My advice to Ahmad is just to drive, not think about the team title or anything else, and see where we end up.”

Schmid acknowledges the threat from second-placed Sky Dive Dubai Falcons. “They’ve made a big step up from last season and the championship has been very tough this season,” he said. “It’s been a big fight to get on stop and stay there, and we’ll still need to be at our best this weekend.”

Al Harthy approaches the season’s grand finale in Bahrain in a realistic mood. “We have been unlucky in some races, and that has obviously made our job a lot harder coming into the final race weekend,” he said.

“The series is a lot stronger than it was when I first competed three years ago. But confidence is high and it will be a great end to my first season with the team if we can secure both titles.

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East – team standings:

  1. Al Nabooda Racing (UAE) 351pts
  2. SKY DIVE Dubai Falcons (UAE) 343
  3. Classic Arabia Racing (KSA) 258
  4. Team Bahrain (BAH) 218
  5. Frijns Structural Steel ME (QAT) 199

Driver standings

  1. Clemens Schmid (UAE) 240pts
  2. Zaid Ashkanani (KUW) 228
  3. Saeed Al Mehairi (UAE) 177
  4. Charlie Frijns (NED) 170
  5. Hasher Al Maktoum (UAE) 166
  6. Raed Raffi (BAH) 138
  7. Fahad Al Gosabi (KSA) 122
  8. Wolfgang Triller (GER) 121
  9. Ahmad Al Harthy (OM) 111 
  10. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) 101