Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East will be the main support race of the Gulf Air Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix to be held at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) on April 1 to 3.
The announcement was made at a press conference on Friday at the BIC to mark the official 42-day countdown for the Kingdom’s biggest social and sporting extravaganza.
The Porsche GT3 Cup is a local favorite born and bred at BIC and it calls Sakhir its home circuit. It will be staging an exhibition round at the Grand Prix with competitors coming from all over the world including the very best around the Gulf, including Bahrain.
The exhibition follows the completion of the 2015-2016 season, which is scheduled to end with a sixth and final round in March.
Competitors will be racing in identical Porsche GT3 Cup (991) cars.
Among those who have raced so far this season include Jeffrey Schmidt of Switzerland, Zaid Ashkanani of Kuwait, Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal and Prince Saud Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa and his Team Bahrain partner Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.
The 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to flag off at 6 pm on Sunday, April 3. Qualifying on Saturday, April 2, will start at the same time, while an hour-long third practice session will be held from 3 pm to 4 pm.
On Friday, April 1, practice one kicks off the weekend’s action from 2 pm to 3.30 pm and then practice two will be held under floodlights from 6 pm to 7.30 pm.
All 11 Formula One teams will be vying for a coveted place on the podium, including world champions Mercedes and the talented pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“The 2016 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is right around the corner, and it is our time to shine once again,” said BIC Commercial Director Sherif Al Mahdy.
“All eyes will be on the Kingdom of Bahrain in just a few weeks, and we are extremely excited to be hosting yet another memorable weekend for all the fans who will be joining us here at BIC, as well as for the millions watching on live television around the world,” he added.
The mega event will be the 12th edition of F1’s only desert race and it will mark the second round of this year’s Formula One World Championship.