Ahmad Al Harthy is focused on carrying the momentum of class victory from his recent outing in the Blancpain Endurance Series into the next two rounds of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Snetterton 300 Circuit in the UK this weekend, 15th/16th June.
Starring at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit just over a week ago with an outstanding GTR Class win on only his second outing in the pan-European Blancpain championship, the Omani sportsman is now relishing his return to British GT action with Oman Air Motorbase team-mate Michael Caine.
So far this season the pairing has scored points in every race in the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-liveried Porsche 997 GT3R, with a best result of fourth position at Oulton Park.
Despite the handicap of a substantial weight disadvantage by way of added ballast, due to their relative levels of motor racing experience and Caine’s position as the reigning British GT Champion, the team-mates have been ultra-competitive in every outing and a first podium cannot be far away.
Even misfortune during the two previous British GT events, at Rockingham and Silverstone, couldn’t prevent the duo from extending their consecutive run of points finishes. They will arrive in Norfolk this weekend for rounds five and six of the season ninth in the championship standings.
“It’s going to be great being back in the Oman Air Motorbase car at Snetterton this weekend, it’s a circuit I know from my time in Porsche Carrera Cup GB and after the Blancpain class win I’m feeling really confident of enjoying two strong races”, said Ahmad.
“We still have the issue with the extra weight on our car, it’s a big hindrance to us in qualifying but in the races we’ve been strong all year so there shouldn’t be any reason why that’s not the case again at the weekend. After some long three-hour races in Blancpain and British GT, we’re back to a pair of 60-minute races which will be a different challenge but one I’m really looking forward to.”
Focused on learning as much as possible during his maiden year in endurance racing, dovetailing a full season in British GT with a campaign in the Blancpain Endurance Series was always Ahmad’s plan for 2013 and he is delighted with the way his year’s racing has progressed up to now.
“So far, in terms of my performance in the car and the way we’ve been able to adapt from sprint racing to endurance racing, I couldn’t be happier with what we’ve achieved”, added the 31-year-old, “We always push, always strive to be faster and better and that’s why we’re here. We’re incredibly determined to take our first British GT podium this weekend, hopefully we can.”
Following a pair of free practice sessions on Saturday, 15th June, qualifying is provisionally scheduled to begin at 15.50 UK time. On Sunday, 16th June, the day’s action will begin with a brief warm-up ahead of round five at 10.45 UK time with round six following at 15.00 UK time.
Provisional 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Standings (after Rd4):
=9th Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Caine, 29pts