Lechner Racing Team Middle East driver Al Faisal Al Zubair claims valuable championship points in Monte Carlo
Oman’s Al Faisal Al Zubair maintained an impressive pace throughout a processional second round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup on Monte Carlo’s famous street circuit on Sunday.
The Lechner Racing Team Middle East driver had qualified 12th for the 16-lap race and, with overtaking difficult on the narrow course, the race became processional for long periods.
The Omani managed to climb one place to finish 11th and claim five valuable championship points to add to the three he secured in Barcelona.
Pole winner Nick Yelloly was able to fend off series leader and defending champion Michael Ammermuller to claim the win and Dylan Pereira managed to pass Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani early in the race to snatch third place. Dutchman Jaap van Lagen finished fourth.
Al Zubair said: “Qualifying had been a little disappointing but I am pleased with the 12th place in the race. We were faster than the guys in front and always catching them and staying ahead of the guys behind.
“But this is Monaco and the track is only wide enough for one car. Unless there is an accident or a mistake from another driver, it is almost impossible to overtake.
“I tried to go for it but it’s too difficult and you risk crashing out. We are aiming for the points in the championship. We actually got P11 because the driver two places in front of us made a jump-start. Always we were on the pace today but qualifying determines the race here.”
Yelloly managed to fend off Ammermuller and Pereira through the opening corners, although Mark Ratcliffe was handed a stop and go penalty. Al Zubair started 12th and maintained that through the first four laps. Magnus Oehman then forced a brief yellow flag when he missed his braking point.
There were no changes among the front-runners through six laps as the procession continued and Al Zubair reached the halfway point in 12th. But Ammermuller began to put even more pressure on the leading Yelloly and Pereira closed in on the leading duo. A yellow flag was raised when Tom Sharp collided with the guardrails by the casino, retired and his car was removed from the circuit.
Racing resumed and Ammermuller continued to nibble at Yelloly’s coat tails in a bid to snatch the lead. With four laps to run, the top 10 remained unchanged and Al Zubair stayed in 12th although Yelloly escaped a minor scrape with the rail at the swimming pool chicane.
The yellow flag was raised again to remove some debris off the track under the tunnel but Yelloly maintained his lead over Ammermuller and Pereira heading into the last two laps.
There were no late surprises and Yelloly claimed the chequered flag from Ammermuller, Pereira and Van Lagen. Al Zubair crossed the finish line 12th and was elevated to 11th when a rival was penalised for a jump-start.
Racing in the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup resumes at the Red Bull ring in Austria from June 30-July 1, but Al Zubair will visit the same circuit on from June 8-10 to take part in the second round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.