Emirati sisters Hamda and Amna Al Qubaisi are blazing a trail for themselves in on the UAE Karting scene.
Taking inspiration from their famous racing father Khaled Al Qubaisi the girls are hoping to conquer the world of karting and move up to higher things in the motorsport world.
Considering the pedigree in their family you wouldn’t be surprised if they did.
And in this video, posted by Abu Dhabi Sports Council on their official YouTube channel, give us an insight into how they plan to do just that.
Watch out racing world!
Coming into this round, I had my mind set on winning as we approach the midway point of the season. I had a slender lead in the championship and wasn’t planning on giving anything up without a fight.
Thursday’s practice went really well as we topped the time sheets for the 600cc class. I was only 0.2s off my best lap time from last year’s race at Dubai Autodrome, which gave me confidence ahead of the race weekend.
Having five other series on the track didn’t help much with grip levels from the excess amount of rubber, however, warm up and qualifying went as expected and we managed to claim pole position with a new lap record.
In race one, my start was not the best so I had to fight quite aggressively to get into the lead. I knew I had a faster pace than Ahmad on his Kawasaki who was my closest competitor on the day, so it was very important to hit the front and just concentrate on the lap times and managing the race. I had only Nasser Al Shaiba on a 1000cc in front of me so I used him as a reference which made my consistency a lot easier to control. I crossed the line with an 18 seconds gap to win the first race.
Race two on Saturday was not that easy as I had a fall on the sighting lap due to a slippery part of the track. I managed to pick up the bike and bring it to the grid where my team only had a few seconds to check for damages before our start. I have to say it made me a bit nervous, especially during the race as I kept losing the front every time I approached a right corner. We discovered after the race that my rear brake lever was bent from the crash and it kept activating every time I dipped into a right corner. In addition, a bent handle bar didn’t help with keeping the throttle smooth enough during crucial moments of the race.
Luck was on my side as I broke clear to open up a significant lead. I kept my head down, concentrating on keeping the bike upright and leaning more by body into the right turns to keep the rear brake from pushing the front. It seemed the longest race of my life and I won by nearly 15 seconds.
I cannot thank my team enough for this round. My Honda CBR600RR was great to handle even with the damages, and thanks to the guys for giving me a great setup for the conditions, so this win goes to them.
Now that we have a bigger lead in the championship, I can relax a bit, but knowing that I will give it everything in the next round to maintain that gap.
Round 4 will take place on Feb 17.
As the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East heads to Abu Dhabi for its fourth round on Friday, the focus will be on Ryan Cullen and Charlie Frijns at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.
However, the duo will have to share the spotlight with an Arab teenage sensation who is turning heads this season.
Omani driver Al Faisal Al Zubair has taken the championship by storm in his debut year. The 18-year-old driver has been fearless on the track and will be looking to continue his impressive form at Yas Marina Circuit.
This season is the first time Al Zubair is racing a Porsche GT3 Cup car but he has been more than competitive out on the circuit, finishing in second and seventh place over two races at the Dubai Autodrome last month.
His runner-up spot in the first race was unprecedented, while his seventh place finish in the second was testament to the teenager’s fighting spirit after dropping from third spot to 11th.
“Overall, I think we proved this weekend that we can run with the top guys. It didn’t go how I wanted it to but they know we have the pace and the capability so we’ll be better in Abu Dhabi,” he said after the third round concluded.
Al Zubair currently occupies an impressive fifth place in the overall standings but has his sights set on winning the Silver Class and Rookie Championship, both of which he leads.
“Winning Silver and winning the Rookie class for the championship and then hopefully more podiums in the overalls and maybe even a race win this season.”
Al Zubair however, remains unperturbed by the buzz around him.
“I think being a young driver having his first season in GTs definitely helps. We’re getting better and better so that’s helping and I’m sure the other drivers are conscious of that so it’s always a good thing.”
Al Zubair began karting in 2014 before taking to the Formula 4 circuit a year later. He then competed in Formula 3 last year but claims he’s most comfortable in GT.
“My personal preference is GT rather than single-seater. I think it suits my driving more.”
Walter Lechner is the manager and organiser of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and is full of praise for the young talent.
“Al Faisal Al Zubair is definitely an outstanding talent. We’re very surprised. Everyday we’re very surprised,” the motorsport legend said.
“Considering it’s his first season in these kind of cars and his age is only 18 and also the fact that he still has a lot to learn, I would say the basics are very good.”
Championship contender Frijns has also been equally impressed with Al Zubair.
“To have so little experience and finish the race in the way he did, I have all the respect for him. It’s very nice that he’s competitive in the Silver class,” Frijns said of the Omani.
The young Arab driver admits he’s even surprised himself but rather than bask in the glory of his achievements, he’s eager to accomplish even more.
“To be honest, I knew I’d be quick but I didn’t think I’d be this quick. Two overall podiums and I think a winning a race in the championship is realistic. I think I’m exceeding what I thought and exceeding what everyone else thought as well.”
When asked what was it that drew him to racing in the first place, Al Zubair delivered a response befitting of a born racer.
“I like the speed.”