Sportscar driver Ahmad Al Harthy returns to action with the Oman Air Motorbase team in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship this coming weekend, at Rockingham in Northamptonshire, for the first of the 2013 campaign’s two-hour races.
Taking place over the UK May Day Holiday on Sunday, 5th May, and Monday, 6th May, the second British GT event of the year will see the Muscat 31-year-old vying for the first podium of his maiden season in endurance competition.
On his category debut at Oulton Park four weeks ago, the Omani delivered two star performances in the season-opening one hour races and he, and team-mate Michael Caine, concluded the weekend with a best result of fourth position in round one.
Going into the sole Rockingham encounter an impressive seventh in the championship standings, Ahmad also has the benefit of the additional experience gained during the first round of the pan-European Blancpain Endurance Series, in which he debuted at Monza in Italy a fortnight ago.
“I’m really looking forward to being back in the car and back with the guys at Oman Air Motorbase, we’ve got high hopes for Rockingham”, said the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed racer.
“The two races at Oulton Park went very well for us, scoring points in both was a fantastic start to my GT career and the team did a great job with our race set-up. We’re feeling quite confident going into the first two hour race of the British GT season, we had a positive test at Rockingham before I went to Monza for Blancpain so the aim is to fight for our first podium of 2013.”
During his Blancpain Endurance Series debut two weeks ago, which was a grueling three-hour race, Ahmad completed two one-hour stints at the wheel of a Porsche 997 GT3R and that experience will prove vital in his identical Oman Air Motorbase-run Porsche a few days from now.
“As long as we don’t have any mechanical problems or anything like that, I really think we can have a very strong weekend”, he added, “You never know what can happen in motor racing, especially long endurance races, but so far things have gone as well as I could have hoped. If we can build on what we achieved during the first rounds, I’ll be very happy.”
Following two, one-hour free practice sessions on Sunday, 5th May, qualifying for the third round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship will take place at 16.20. On Monday, 6th May, the two hour Rockingham race will get underway at 13.05.
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.