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Schmidt and Oriola claim fine doubles

Mon, 04 Apr 2016

JEFFREY Schmidt and Pepe Oriola both secured impressive doubles yesterday in their respective championship series, held in support of the 2016 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.

After both drivers won their first races of the weekend on Saturday, Schmidt made it two-for-two in in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East while Pepe Oriola sealed a clean sweep for the season-opening round of the 2016 TCR International Series.

In the Porsche GT3 Cup, Schmidt started from the front row alongside Zaid Ashkanani. He powered to the lead right away and did well to build a significant gap en route to taking the chequered flag in 20 minutes 52.530 seconds.

Pole-sitter Ashkanani trailed in third place for much of the race, but managed to overtake Charlie Frijns on the final lap to secure the runner-up classification 8.700 seconds behind Schmidt. Frijns had to settle for third 9.122s back. All three top placers were also one through three in the Gold category.

Wolfgang Triller won the Silver class ahead of Faisal bin Laden, while Magnus Ohman clinched first place in the Bronze category followed by Bahrain’s Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Rob Frijns. Bahrain’s Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa was fourth amongst the Bronze drivers.

Eleven of the 14 who started the race finished. Schmidt had the fastest lap of 2:04.173.

In the TCR International Series, Oriola started from sixth position.

The Spaniard, racing in a SEAT Leon, completed the 10-lap sprint in 22:36.458.

Classified as runner-up was Briton James Nash, who was also in a SEAT Leon and was just 1.572 seconds behind; while in third place driving a Honda Civic was Aku Pellinen 4.372s back.

Meanwhile, Bahrainis Shaikh Salman bin Isa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Hussain Karimi ended their debut weekend in the TCR series with solid performances in race two. They narrowly missed out on a place in the top10, finishing 11th and 12th, respectively.

Shaikh Salman was 31.178s behind while Karimi was 54.796s back. They are among 15 drivers who finished the race from 18 entrants. Oriola clocked the race’s fastest lap of 2:13.511.

The TCR International Series now heads to Estoril in Portugal for the second round of the season, to be held on April 24.

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