The fourth round of the Maserati Trofeo JBF RAK takes place at Losail International Circuit in Qatar this weekend. With sponsorship from the Alfardan Group, the Middle East’s most exciting race series is set to stun Qatar with two races taking place on Saturday.

Friday saw the drivers take to the challenging 5.38km-long circuit for the first time with two 40-minute practice sessions before an action-packed 20-minute qualifying session.

At the fall of the flag it was Lebanon’s Joe Ghanem – and current Maserati Trofeo JBF RAK series leader – who posted the fastest time of the day with a 2:07.816. Italy’s Patrick Zamparini will share the front row of the grid for the first race with a qualifying time of 2:08.376.

The circuit proved to be a challenge for many of the drivers during the day, with numerous spins and the occasional trip into the gravel trap. Joe Ghanem took a methodical approach to the day, devoting his first practice session to learning the best lines before pushing hard. ”It’s very easy to find yourself off line on the track as it’s an extremely inviting circuit to drive – the corners open up very quickly and you have to be very neat to post the best times.”

Qatar’s Saadon Al Kuwari is sitting behind the front runners on the grid in 3rd position after securing a best qualifying time of 2:10.314 narrowly ahead of Justino de Azacarte Riiveroll in 4th with a time of 2:10.430.

Lebanese driver Zeehog secured 5th position with a time of 2:11.610 and shared the third row of the grid with Qatari Marwan Mussabeh who is driving the Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo for the first time.

The action kicks off tomorrow at 10:10 with the second Qualifying session before the races start at 13:10 in the afternoon. Race fans can follow all of the action at www.maseraticorse.com or via the dedicated twitter account @TrofeoJBFRAK.
Qualifying Session 1

1.                   11                  Joe Ghanem                                              2:07.816
2.                  30                 Patrick Zamparini                                    2:08.376
3.                  60                 Saadon Al Kuwari                                    2:10.314
4.                  25                 Justino de Azcarate Riiveroll                 2:10.430
5.                  24                 Zeehog                                                        2:11.610
6.                  95                 Marwan Mussabeh                                  2:12.436
7.                  82                 Mohammed Jawa                                    2:13.743
8.                  88                Faisal Shaker                                             2:14.079
9.                  13                 Khaled Al Mudhaf                                    2:14.686
10.                85                Osamah Shaker                                         2:15.366
11.                 3                  Tani Hanna                                                2:15.909
12.                28                 Guenther Forster                                     2:17.018
13.                8                  Carlo Romani                                             2:28.749

For Phil it's all about the car, the quality of content and the story. Having experienced life on both sides of the automotive business, the unbridled urge to set up his own unique motoring website led to crankandpiston.com being founded in his spare room. The rest as they say is history.

Phil McGovern

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