Ahmad Al HarthyAhmad Al Harthy and the Oman Air Racing Team are delighted to confirm a return to UK racetracks for the 2012 motorsport season after today, Tuesday, 21st February, announcing a third successive season of participation in the world renowned Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship.

Revealed at an official press conference held at the Muscat Intercontinental Hotel in Oman this morning, the 30-year-old racing driver detailed a continuation of Oman Air as title sponsor for 2012 as part of a truly prestigious and wide-ranging commercial portfolio:

• Oman Air maintains position as headline sponsor of Oman Air Racing Team
• Government backing from Ministry of Sports Affairs and Ministry of Tourism
• Muscat Eye Laser Centre joins as brand new commercial partner for 2012
• Customer-friendly telecommunications provider Nawras agrees two-year extension
• Oman’s first local bank, National Bank of Oman, renews support for two more years
• Continuation of Brand Ambassador roles for Ahmad with each prestigious organisation

Ahmad will return to compete in the Pro-Am 1 Class of the UK’s premier one-make sportscar championship this year, having ended the 2011 season a fantastic third overall in the standings with 12 podiums from 19 races – including two Pro-Am 1 wins. As for the past two seasons, the Oman Air Racing Team car will be prepared and maintained by multiple title-winning squad Redline Racing.

Since the conclusion of last year’s Porsche Carrera Cup GB campaign, the Muscat sportsman has continued to compete with selected outings in the burgeoning Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East series.

From six races contested, Ahmad chalked-up a tally of three podiums with the highlight being a superb lights-to-flag victory during the FIA Formula One World Championship support race at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi last November. He also won on his debut in the NGK UAE GT Championship at Dubai Autodrome, partnering double Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion James Sutton.

“It’s incredible we’re returning to Porsche Carrera Cup GB”, said Ahmad, “It’s one of the best motor racing championships in the world and it’s a huge honour to continue promoting Oman, and everything the country has to offer, through my racing on such a prestigious stage. I’m delighted too, of course, to have the continued support of so many incredible sponsors – it’s amazing.

“Retaining title sponsorship from Oman Air is fantastic and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the airline, as well as to my other incredible partners – the Ministry of Sports Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, Nawras and National Bank of Oman. We are also extremely fortunate in being able to welcome a new partner for 2012, Muscat Eye Laser Centre, which is very exciting.”

He added: “We had an amazing season last year in Pro-Am 1 and we’re aiming for even more podiums and wins this year. Being with Redline Racing for a third season was never a doubt, the guys there are the best in the business and always do a perfect job. With the extra experience from racing in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East I’m confident we can have a great season back in the UK.”

For Oman’s position as a key centre for business in the Middle East and also as a prime tourist destination, 2012 is an incredibly important year with Muscat having been named the Arab Tourism Capital – a project being led by the Ministry of Tourism.

Through his motor racing programme this year Ahmad will, of course, help raise the international profile of his home city as part of his ambassadorial work. This will be assisted not only by his races in Porsche Carrera Cup GB, but also with a handful of planned competitive outings in continental Europe during the course of the year which will be confirmed at a later date.

Following the official 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship ‘Media Day’ on Tuesday, 13th March, at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, the opening two rounds of the new season will take place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over the weekend 31st March/1st April.

Keep up to speed with Ahmad’s 2012 progress at his official website www.ahmadalharthy.com follow him on Twitter @AlHarthyRacing or visit the Ahmad Al Harthy Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ahmad-Al-Harthy/111700892183537