Al Faisal finishes overall 13th at Spa

Having qualified overall 17th for the seventh round of the 2019 Porsche Mobil1 Supercup at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on Saturday, it was always going to be a tough task for Oman's 22 year old, Al Faisal al Zubair, to finish among the top-ten on one of the most challenging circuits.

However, Al Faisal fought back strongly on Sunday to climb four places and finish overall 13th among a large grid of 32 racers. Al Faisal could hardly do much in a race that turned out to be more of a processional during the 11-lap race.

The BWT Lechner Racing Team forced his way through the field to add to his points’ tally in a race that was led from start-tofinish by Luxembourg’s Dylan Pereira. Turkey’s Ayhancan Güven and Aussie Jaxon Evans rounded off the podium places.

Al Faisal's BWT Lechner Racing Team colleagues - Michael Ammermüller and Julien Andlauer - are locked in a fascinating tussle for the championship title and a single point separated the duo before the race in Andlauer’s favour.

Ammermüller managed to finish a place ahead of the Frenchman in eighth place, however, to set up a gripping finale to the season. Speaking after the race, Al Faisal said, “It was not an easy qualifying on Saturday, but the race was much better today. The car felt amazing. I started P17 and finished P12 (registered drivers).

“I was catching the pack ahead and I made a few good overtakes during the race. I should be happy with that. Usually in the Porsche Supercup it is very difficult to overtake. We had the pace today and I hope we can continue that for the rest of the season.” Al Faisal began strongly as he climbed three places to 14th in the opening lap.

There were no changes to the running order through laps two, three and four as Al Faisal tucked in behind Joey Mawson, Berkay Besler and Gianmarco Quaresmini. The high-speed procession at the top of the leaderboard continued into lap five, but the Omani managed to find a way to overtake Quaresmini to go 13th to close in on a top-ten finish.

Al Faisal carded his fastest lap of the race - 2min 25.976sec - to retain his 13th place after lap seven and he continued to pressurise Besler for 12th place with another personal quickest lap of 2min 25.730sec. There were no changes in the penultimate lap and Pereira managed to hold on for the remainder of the race to clinch a start-to-finish victory as Al Faisal settled for a point-scoring 13th spot.

Following the seventh round, Al Faisal has slipped a place to 11th in drivers' championship standings. He now has 35 points with his best-show so far in the series coming in the opening round when he finished seventh.

Out of the seven rounds held, Al Faisal has managed four topten finishes. Andlauer continues to top the standings with 92 points and Ammermüller is second with 92 with one retirement. Güven is third with 76.

The eighth round will be held at Monza, Italy, from September 6-8 before the double-header final round in Mexico in October.

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