Ahmad Al HarthyOman Air Racing Team driver Ahmad Al Harthy will begin both of this weekend’s Porsche Carrera Cup GB races at Rockingham from the front row of the Pro-Am 1 Class after yet another excellent performance in qualifying on Saturday, 22nd September.

Leading the way in Pro-Am 1 during the first part of the half-hour session, the 31-year-old from Muscat produced a quickest time of 1m20.554 seconds (86.69mph) but on the second set of tyres he wasn’t quite able to better his earlier effort.

Although pipped to the class pole position for round 15 by a mere 0.027 seconds, Ahmad’s second best time of the session – a lap of 1m20.565 seconds (86.68mph) which also came during his initial run – was more than good enough for the round 16 Pro-Am 1 pole, his 11th of the season so far.

“It was a very close session but we delivered some very consistent lap times which enabled me to get pole position for race two”, commented Ahmad, “Of course, it would be nice to have both poles but starting from the front row in Pro-Am 1 for both races is good and where we need to be to try and maximise our points score.

“I had to push more on the second set of tyres but the time just didn’t come, we definitely had more pace to show but couldn’t quite put the lap time together in the second half of the session. Anyway, we’re starting in good positions for both races and we’ll try and challenge for two wins if we can.”

Ahmad’s weekend actually got off to a less straightforward start than he would have liked on Friday, 21st September, when he was forced to miss the first 10 minutes of the opening practice session after being caught-up in a traffic jam en-route to the circuit.

Even so, the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-supported driver rapidly got up to speed and went on to end the day with the fastest Pro-Am 1 time of 1m21.138 seconds (86.07mph).

Going into this weekend’s two races, the Omani leads the Pro-Am 1 standings by an extremely healthy 48 points with a tally of nine class victories from the 14 rounds contested so far and a total of 13 podiums.

In a late timetable change during the build-up for the weekend, round 15 will now get underway at 10.00 (UK time) this morning, Sunday, 23rd September, with round 16 beginning at 15.10. The second of the two races will be screened live in the UK on ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and with live streaming online at www.itv.com/btcc

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

2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship – Pro-Am1 Driver Standings (after Rd14):
1st Ahmad Al Harthy, 130pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.