With reporting from Ankita Menon
A gaggle of professional circuit racers will return to Qatar this weekend for Round 4 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, a motorsport event that tests extreme driving skills.
During the challenge, which will take place at the Losail International Circuit late Friday and Saturday nights, drivers will race each other to finish 12 laps around the Losail track, reaching speeds of 140km to 260km per hour. The event is free and open to the public.
The victor will receive no prize money for winning – only glory, Walter Lechner, CEO of organizer LECHNE Racing told Doha News during a practice session on Thursday.
“It is not for the money. They (the drivers) are passionate. Of course they have their sponsors – whatever private arrangements they have with their sponsors, that’s up to them. We are giving them a professional platform in the Middle East.”
The GT3 Cup Challenge is comprised of six rounds of 12 races per season that are held at various venues in region, including Dubai and Bahrain.
This will be the second round to be held in Doha this month, with the first being two weeks ago (during which racers contended with rainy conditions). The season opens in November and ends in March.
Competitors will all be riding Porches with slight variations, so that “the best driver wins and not the best car,” Lechner said.
In Qatar, the twist is that the races will be held at 11pm on Friday night (tonight) and 9:50pm on Saturday night.
“This is the only place where we have night races,” Lechner said, insinuating that the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) sets the schedule.
He added that those who turn out are in for an exciting viewing experience.
“It is very competitive. So there is a lot of action. When they get qualified, there is a lot of tension coming up.”
A team from QMMF will also enter the competition for the first time tonight, which will be led by rally champion driver and 2011 Dakar Rally winner Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah. The competitor will also participate in the two coming rounds in Dubai and Bahrain.
Are you planning to watch the races? Thoughts?