Portimao, Portugal – Oman’s Al Faisal al Zubair gets his challenge underway in the 2023 International GT Open at this weekend’s opening race at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve, in Portimao, Portugal.
After finishing third in the 2023 Asian Le Mans Series, Al Zubair teams up with Germany’s Fabian Schiller in the Getspeed Performance Team to drive a Mercedes-AMG GT3 running under the Al Manar Racing banner.
Al Zubair, who finished third in the International GT Open series in 2021, said: “Very excited to get the European season started for 2023. I believe it will be a very good year. I am feeling very confident and happy with the atmosphere and performance levels at Getspeed.
“I’m looking forward to getting started with the GT Open. There are some strong line-ups in the championship so, for sure, it won’t be so easy. Nonetheless, we are coming fully prepared and looking to turn ambitions into results. We will definitely be aiming for the win.”
There are 33 cars on the entry list for the opening round of a series that also visits Belgium, Hungary, France, Austria, Italy and Spain this season and is in its 18th year. Al-Zubair, Schiller and Al-Manar Racing have a varied race programme in 2023 and will compete in Hungary and Spain after their opening Portuguese outing.
International GT Open competitors are sharing the Algarve circuit with Euroformula Open, GT Cup Europe and TCR Europe entrants this weekend.
Private tests will be permitted on Thursday, before two free practice sessions on Friday (April 28th). A 30-minute qualifying session follows from 11.10hrs on Saturday morning and the 70-minute race one fires into life with a rolling start from 16.30hrs.
The second qualifying session takes place at the earlier time of 09.00hrs on Sunday morning, prior to the one-hour second race of the weekend, starting at 13.35hrs.