The Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East (PCCME) is all set to get its 2023-24 season underway this weekend with a 16-car grid lining up at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir, in support of the Bapco Energies 8 Hours of Bahrain.
The region’s leading one-make series, which has been rebranded after previously running as the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East, will see drivers from all over the world competing in identical 510hp Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars.
The PCCME will be complementing the WEC action all throughout the weekend at ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’, making for non-stop racing action along BIC’s 5.412-kilometre track.
The PCCME competitors will be racing in three categories, including the Pro, ProAm and the Am. There is also a separate class for GCC drivers to vie for honours.
The field will be headlined by the Bahraini pairing of Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa racing for Team Bahrain and Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa.
Both Shaikh Salman and Shaikh Jaber are competing in the PCCME’s Am category, while also gunning for top honours amongst GCC competitors. The talented pair will be hoping to raise the kingdom’s flag high on their home circuit in the first two races of the new campaign.
Drivers in the PCCME’s Pro category this weekend include Flynt Schuring and Robert De Haan of the Netherlands; along with Theo Oeverhaus, Colin Boenighausen and Janne Stiak from Germany.
The ProAm class features Saud Al Saud and Khaled Alahmadi from Saudi Arabia; Soeren Spreng and Timo Recker of Germany; Cedric Chassang of France; Ahmad Al Shehab from Kuwait; and Bashar Mardini of Canada.
Meanwhile, joining Shaikh Salman and Shaikh Jaber amongst the Am participants are Mark J Thomas of Canada and Sebastian Gorga of Italy.
In preparation for the start of the new PCCME campaign, an official pre-season test was held last weekend at BIC, when the contenders were able to get valuable running in their Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars.
Races this PCCME season are to be held at top tracks across the Gulf, highlighted by BIC in Sakhir and including Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit in the UAE, as well as Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia.
This weekend’s season-opening PCCME sprint will take place tomorrow at 6pm. Race two will then be held on Saturday at 11am.
The second round of the new campaign will once again be held at BIC on December 15 and 16. Round three will then take place in Dubai on January 20 and 21, and the fourth meeting a week later in Abu Dhabi on January 27 and 28 as the first events of 2024.
The final two rounds will then be held in support of Formula 1. The penultimate event will take place during next year’s F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix weekend from 29 February to 2 March. That will pave the way for the season-finale at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from March 7 to 9.
For more information, visit bahraingp.com or call the BIC Hotline.