The two races over the weekend at the Yas Marina circuit went pretty much according to plan for series leader Tom Oliphant in the ongoing Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East series. While he managed to hold on to a second placed finish on Friday, behind surprise star of the day Dylan Pereira of Luxembourg, the second race saw him take a comfortable victory.
On the other hand, Omani challenger Al Faisal Al Zubair had a rather tough weekend, with a poor start grid position holding him back on Friday to a third place finish and a spin off the following race taking him to the back of the field, leaving him trying to pick his way through – he finally finished in seventh place, opening up the lead for Oliphant. This was despite Al Zubair being ahead in second position at the start, with Pereira up front.
Dylan Pereira will of course be pleased with his number one and number two finishes over the weekend. And so too for Omani rookie driver Khalid Al Wahaibi, who had good races on both days topped by his career best fourth place finish on Saturday.
Oliphant will be satisfied with his weekend’s work having gone about his business in a quiet and confident manner. Speaking after the race he said: “I got a really good start, Pereira did too, but Al Faisal was a bit slower off the line. I managed to get around the outside of Al Faisal into turn one, he pushed me off wide but I came back on to keep my place. There was a bit of touching between myself and Al Zubair but he got in front of me going onto the back straight, there was a lot of battling going on but we kept it fair.
“Pereira then locked up going into the third corner and flat spotted his tyre. Al Faisal was behind him so I took the opportunity to overtake them both to take the lead. From then on, I managed the race well and built a gap out in front. I didn’t push too hard, so not to make any mistakes but crossed the line successfully in first place. I’m really pleased, and keeps my championship title hopes alive.”