Paul Ricard HTTT in the south of France will host round three of the Blancpain Endurance Series this coming weekend, 29th/30th June, where ARC Bratislava-NBO Racing Team driver Ahmad Al Harthy is aiming to continue his recent winning momentum.
Having won the GTR Class during the previous Blancpain event at Silverstone in the UK, partnering Slovakia’s Miro Konôpka, Ahmad also claimed a maiden outright victory in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship just over a week ago so the 31-year-old’s confidence is currently sky high.
“I really am looking forward to my first visit to Paul Ricard, especially off the back of such a great result at Silverstone last time out in Blancpain and also my win in British GT”, said the Omani, “It’s another new challenge, a new adventure for the NBO Racing Team, but I’m confident we can push for another good finish at the weekend – I really want to try and keep the winning momentum!”
Beginning his debut Blancpain campaign with eighth in class at Monza in Italy back in April, having been on course for a potential victory until gearbox problems arose, Ahmad and endurance racing veteran Konôpka starred at Silverstone during round two with an outstanding performance.
Taking a double stint in the testing three-hour encounter, meaning roughly two hours behind the wheel of the National Bank of Oman, Nawras, Oman Ministry of Tourism and Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs-liveried Porsche 997 GT3R, Ahmad was in tremendous form.
Round three at Paul Ricard, which is situated close to Le Castellet near Marseille, is expected to once again feature a huge grid of around 60 cars from across Europe with Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Lamborghini and, of course, Porsche all represented.
In terms of the championship table ahead of the weekend’s action, the ARC Bratislava-NBO Racing Team is second in the GTR Class standings on 31 points. In the GTR driver championship, Ahmad and Konopka are also in second place on 29 points – just eight shy of the class lead.
“It’s been a fantastic season so far, I’m getting much stronger and more adjusted to the demands of endurance racing each time we’re on track and I’m really delighted with the start we’ve had”, added Ahmad, “It’s going to be a very tough race at Paul Ricard, incredibly challenging as Blancpain always is, but we’re confident of a strong weekend and aiming to try and challenge for the GTR win again.”
Following free practice at Paul Ricard on Saturday, 29th June, pre-qualifying will take place at 15.40 (local time). The all-important final qualifying session will be held at 10.25 (local time) on Sunday, 30th June, with the three hour race scheduled to commence at 15.00 (local time). Live streaming of round three will be available online at www.blancpain-endurance-series.com/pages/live
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.