JEDDAH: In welcome news for race fans, the Saudi Motorsport Company, promoters of the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022, has confirmed that the Porsche Sprint Cup Challenge Middle East will again take place at the Saudi Arabian F1 race weekend alongside the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Jeddah from March 25-27.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Martin Whitaker, CEO of the SMC, said: “We are delighted to confirm the return of the Porsche Sprint Cup Challenge Middle East to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix program. As the premier sports car racing series in the region, its inclusion on our schedule alongside Formula 2 ensures that the second F1 race weekend in Saudi Arabia will once again showcase the greatest racing action on the planet each and every day. We can’t wait to welcome the world once more to Jeddah in March.”
The Porsche Sprint Cup Challenge Middle East was founded in 2009 by the late Austrian racing veteran Walter Lechner, having been known as the Porsche GT3 Challenge Middle East before it assumed its current title in 2020. The single-engine racing series is the longest-running and most successful championship in the region, having staged nearly 150 races in the Middle East since its inception.
The series sees a minimum of 16 cars line up on the grid to compete across different racetracks around the world annually. Saudi Arabia has a wealth of young race drivers, both male and female, and a considerable number of Saudi drivers are expected to compete as the action returns to Jeddah.
The Porsche Sprint Cup Challenge series already has a strong relationship with the Kingdom, with the Saudi-based Al-Faisal Team holding the record for the largest number of victories and podiums in the championship.
Saudi Minister for Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal and the Chairman of the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation and the Saudi Motorsport Company Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, have both competed in the series, winning numerous races and championships with the Al-Faisal team.
Moreover, Prince Abdulaziz was the first-ever champion and is the most successful driver in the series’ history.
Saudi Racing continues to excel in this highly competitive series, having secured the 2021/2022 Team Championship at Round 4 of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East in Abu Dhabi, while Saudi racers Fahad Algosaibi and Bander Alewsayi both currently sit in the top three of the GT3 leader board and Saud Al-Saud and Khaled Alahmdi lead in the GT4 category.
In addition to the Formula 1 and Porsche Sprint Cup racing action, fans will also catch the popular Formula 2 series, renowned as a breeding ground for future F1 stars, as well as the Saudi Supercar Club — an exclusive program geared towards Saudi nationals with a passion for fast cars. The founding members will again have the exclusive opportunity to drive their cars on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit during the four days of the F1 race weekend in Jeddah.
Robert Lechner, Sporting Director of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East: “To be part of the first SAGP with the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East was an incredibly emotional moment for all of us. The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is very impressive and a real challenge for the Porsche GT3 and GT4 race cars. The entire weekend was very exciting and an absolute highlight of the season. We are grateful for another invitation to race in Saudi Arabia and are very much looking forward to race in front of our enthusiastic, local friends and drivers.”