Kuwait compatriots Zaid Ashkanani, Ahmad Al Ghanem and Mohammed Al Kazemi will compete as ‘Team Kuwait’ with MRS GT-Racing at the inaugural Hankook 12H KUWAIT on 1-2 December.
Words – James Gent
Image – MRS GT-Racing / Johan Koning Hemmerling
MRS GT-Racing has finalized an all-Kuwait line-up for the inaugural Hankook 12H KUWAIT.
This year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook season finale will take place at Kuwait Motor Town for the first time, becoming the first international racing program to be held at Kuwait’s first permanent racing facility in the process. Fittingly, the ‘Team Kuwait’ entry, fielded by 24H SERIES stalwart MRS GT-Racing, will compete for overall victory in the top tier GT3 category with a Porsche 991.2-generation GT3 R.
Zaid Ashkanani, Ahmad Al Ghanem and Mohammed Al Kazemi have also been confirmed on the Team Kuwait by MRS GT-Racing driver line-up.
Following intermittent runs in ADAC Formel Masters and British Formula Ford, Zaid Ashkanani was crowned Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup Middle East champion in 2013-2014, a performance that led to the Kuwaiti becoming an official Red Bull athlete. After finishing a close-fought 2nd overall in Porsche’s’ one-make Middle East series in 2014-2015, Ashkanani contested his first season in Formula 1’s GP3 feeder series in 2015 before making the jump to the international Porsche Supercup in 2016, 2017 and 2018. A part-campaign in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup beckoned for 2019.
Interestingly, the Hankook 12H KUWAIT will not be the first time Ashkanani has been fielded in a ‘Team Kuwait’ entry. At the 2019 FIA Motorsport Games GT Cup – a tournament that also included Herberth Motorsport team principal Alfred Renauer as ‘Team Germany’, 2014 Hankook 12H MUGELLO winners Alexander Talkanitsa Snr. And Jr. as ‘Team Belarus’, and reigning TCR Drivers’ champion Kantadhee Kusiri as ‘Team Thailand’ – Ashkanani competed as ‘Team Kuwait’ alongside two-time Hankook 24H DUBAI class winner Khaled Al Mudhaf.
Ahmad Al Ghanem finished 2nd overall on his inaugural Formula Gulf 1000 campaign in 2014-2015 before venturing to Spanish Formula 3. Mohammed Al Kazemi meanwhile most recently competed in United Arab Emirate’s Gulf Radical Cup and signed off the 2021-2022 season with his third podium finish of the season.
All three drivers will be making their 24H SERIES debuts at the Hankook 12H KUWAIT. Following private test sessions earlier in the week, official on-track action gets underway with Free Practice at 10am on Thursday 1 December ahead of a 90-minute qualifying session later that afternoon. After one hour of Night Practice, the race proper is set to begin at 12pm on Friday 2 December.