Snetterton in East Anglia is the destination for the Oman Air Motorbase team for rounds five and six of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship (15/16 June) when Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine will bid for a top-six position despite the on-going weight penalty for their Porsche 911 GT3R.
The Snetterton weekend is based around a pair of hour-long races at the venue that has always been Caine’s home track. However, the Motorbase car will be held back by carrying a 75kg weight penalty due to the championship organiser’s grading of the two drivers.
“For Snetterton we are still carrying the weight and I really do wish they would do something with us, but at the moment I’m still getting nowhere with that,” said team boss David Bartrum. “I’d love to let Michael have the weight off for qualifying to give him a fair shot. British GT is a great series but it is annoying that our drivers are doing it with one hand tied behind their back.
“We’ll probably qualify averagely again and when the race starts we’ll get a bit stronger,” continued Bartrum. “We’ve always got a good race set-up, but with the weight in the car you can’t get the one lap qualifier that you want. In the race, you can get a bit back on the skill of your drivers and on the quality of your set-up. Safety cars can come into play and we can tend to eke out a bit better result. It is hard not to be as competitive as we want to be as an overall package, but we still believe we’ve got a chance and we won’t give up on that.”
The team tested with Al Harthy at Snetterton at the end of May. “We ran Ahmad at Snetterton on the Tuesday after the Silverstone race,” said Bartrum. “Trackspeed was booked on the test, but because they smashed all their cars up at Silverstone, there was space on the test day, so at the last minute we decided to give Ahmad a run. It was the second time he had been there in the GT car, but the first time was very cold.”
Following a pair of one-hour free practice sessions on Saturday 15th June, qualifying for the fifth and sixth rounds of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship will start at 15.50; with the two races commencing at 10.45 and 15.00 on Sunday 16th June.