Irish driver Ryan Cullen signed off his Porsche GT3 Middle East Cup season with victory in the final race of the season. Having secured the title by finishing third in the first race at the Bahrain International Circuit, the 25-year-old put on a real show of class to race away from his rivals in the second race – setting the fastest lap in doing so.His title was all but in the bag going into the sixth round of races at the Bahrain International Circuit. To lose the title he had to fail to finish while his nearest rival had to win both races.But in the first of the two races which supported the F1 jamboree, Cullen drove a mature and conservative race, clinching the the title with a race to spare.And with the championship secure, Cullen went on to take first place in the second race and celebrate a phenomenal season.Victory meant that of the twelve races Cullen has taken part in, he has won eight and only come outside the top three on one occasion.
Speaking after collecting the winner’s trophy, Cullen said: “This was a fantastic team effort throughout and I’m grateful that the guys in the pit were able to be with me at the end of what has been a great year. I must also pay tribute to my sponsors who have helped me to get into this position and hopefully there will be more success in the future. I sealed the championship yesterday but it feels so good to finish the season with a win. There was less pressure today and I wanted to be able to go out and enjoy myself. I didn’t have the best of starts but after turn one I managed to keep the pressure on. I waited patiently as I didn’t want to do anything too silly but as soon as I saw my opportunity I made a move and managed to overtake both cars at the same time. It’s been a special weekend for me, I started my championship here in November with a win and now I’ve finished on the top step again five months later. I’m going away from the Middle East with huge confidence and will be looking to make the most of this form in Europe this summer.”
The 25-year old has also just announced that he will be joining Christoff Huber’s Race Union team for a tilt at the Porsche Mobil1 Super Cup and the German Cup. As Cullen lifted the title in Bahrain this week, he announced that he will step up into the higher class and race in both series simultaneously. Cullen said: “The Super Cup and the German Cup are the pinnacle of the Porsche racing series. There is some serious talent in the class and I’m excited to be going up against these guys next season. But I’ve had a great season in the Middle East Cup and my confidence is high, so I’m just going to get my head down, work hard alongside the team and give it my best shot.”
Competing in both series will mean that Cullen will have very little time off over the summer months.
He added: “The two series have been time-tabled so that drivers can compete in the Super Cup as well as the German Cup. The chance to drive the new generation of Porsche is also very exciting and it will mean that I will benefit from driving week in, week out in a fantastic car. That track time will only add to my experience and I’m really looking forward to what will be a very busy summer. The new Porsche is super quick with a new 4-litre engine instead of the old 3.8-litre engine and in testing in ideal conditions I’m knocking the best part of a second off lap times compared with the old car. I can’t wait to get started. I’ll have the same guys in the garage for both the Super Cup and the German Cup and I’m sure that we will both benefit from having such a close working relationship as every weekend will mean being behind the wheel.”
Cullen joins Michael Ammelmuller in the Race Union team which was established by the former Lechner Racing team manager Christoff Huber.