Ahmad Al HarthyOman Air Racing Team driver Ahmad Al Harthy enjoyed a highly successful showing at Dijon-Prenois on Sunday, 15th May, by securing a pair of fifth place finishes on his competitive debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup France Championship.

Qualifying an excellent seventh fastest for each encounter, the 29-year-old from Muscat improved his pace throughout the weekend and over the course of the two races he became a major front-running threat.

Race one, which gave Ahmad his first experience of a rolling start in a Porsche 911 GT3, began calmly and although losing a couple of places early on he was able to run strong lap times before re-gaining places and moving into a deserved top five finish.

The first encounter also marked the longest race of Ahmad’s Porsche career, 40 minutes to be precise, and he was delighted with the how consistently competitive his car was from start to finish without any drop-off in performance.

With the more familiar territory of a standing start for race two, the Oman Air, Nawras, National Bank of Oman, Brand Oman, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Ministry of Tourism-backed racer made a good getaway and eyed a possible podium at one stage.

With the cars ahead battling hard, Ahmad thought he may have an opportunity to take advantage but the close-quarters fight ended up costing him time. Dropping to sixth, he re-doubled his efforts during the closing stages and managed to take fifth place back a couple of laps from the end.

“I’m very proud we managed to go to Dijon this weekend and be quick straight out of the box against guys who know the circuit very well”, said Ahmad, “It’s been a fantastic feeling flying the flag for Oman in France, thank you so much to all of my sponsors for making this weekend possible.

“We needed to find out how competitive we could be against drivers in other championships, as well as in Porsche GB, and I think we’ve shown how strong we are. The team did a fantastic job with the car, it was consistent throughout both races and really gave me a chance to fight hard for some good finishes. This experience will definitely help me for the next round of the UK championship.”

Ahmad now has just three weeks to wait until the next two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship take place, over the weekend 4th/5th June at Oulton Park in Cheshire, England.