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Ahmad Al Harthy - NBO Racing TeamPaul 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.

Ahmad Al HarthyPorsche racer Ahmad Al Harthy and Oman Air Motorbase team-mate Michael Caine continued their unbroken run of points finishes during round four of the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Silverstone on Sunday, 26th May, with ninth place in a very action-packed three-hour encounter.

In a race affected by multiple Safety Car periods, and plenty of contact, the duo stayed out of trouble for the duration and only a late time penalty – a result of a problem at the final pit-stop – prevented a potential top six finish on the 3.66-mile Grand Prix Circuit.

“It was a race full of excitement”, said Ahmad, “Due to so many Safety Car periods, people running very different strategies, it was a tough race. We want results, we believe our pace deserves results, but today was unfortunately a day where some things out of our control got in the way. The time penalty near the end was crucial in costing us a few positions but, overall, it was a good weekend.”

Supported by a huge number of guests, including dignitaries from the Sultanate, the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed driver took the first stint of the race starting 17th on the grid.

Only five laps in though, a three-car collision in the midfield, which Ahmad did well to avoid, led to the appearance of the Safety Car. Remaining on track for a handful of laps as some others opted to take the first of their mandatory pit-stops, the Omani pitted on lap eight from ninth position to hand the car over to Caine for the first time.

When racing resumed Caine was down in 33rd position but by the time he pitted for the second driver change on lap 22, part way through a second Safety Car period, he had climbed into fourth with two hours still remaining.

In 20th position when racing got back underway, Ahmad produced an excellent stint to bring the Oman Air Motorbase car back into contention. Working his way through to seventh before handing the car back to Caine for the final hour, the 31-year-old was pleased with his performance.

Caine re-entered the race in 17th position and scythed through into the top six with just 15 minutes remaining on the clock. Unfortunately though, the British driver had mistakenly been let back out from the final stop a few seconds early and so had to pit again for a drive-through penalty. Proving costly, he rejoined in ninth and got to within just 0.2 seconds of eighth place at the finish on lap 77.

“In a three hour race, first of all you have to be happy to just finish”, added Ahmad, “We did that, we scored points so we have to take that forward now and stay positive. I’m really looking forward to the next round of British GT but before then I have Blancpain [Endurance Series] here at Silverstone next weekend, the racing this weekend will help me for that.

“I’d like to thank everyone who came to support me this weekend, it was one of the largest groups of support we’ve had this season. I was honoured to have H.E. Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Hinai, our Ambassador here in the UK, come along with a lot of our other partners, the Ministry of Tourism representatives, so I’m glad it was an entertaining race for them which they really enjoyed.”

Outlining the importance of Ahmad’s racing programme to Oman, Khalid Al Zadjali, director of tourism events for the Oman Ministry of Tourism, commented: “Ahmad is a great ambassador for Oman, we’re really proud to have him doing so well in this unique sport. He helps us promote Oman, to promote Oman as a brand and to explain what our country has to offer.

“For tourism in Oman, the UK is one of our main markets so Ahmad racing in the UK in a high profile championship like British GT is very important for us. It really increases the awareness of Oman and we believe it is a very strong way to promote our country. His success in motorsport really adds value for us and we’re delighted to have been here supporting him this weekend at Silverstone.”

Snetterton 300 Circuit in East Anglia will host rounds five and six of the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship three weeks from now on 15th/16th June. Before then, Ahmad will be back in action at Silverstone next weekend, 1st/2nd June, for the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series with the ARC Bratislava-NBO Racing Team.

Provisional 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Standings (after Rd4):
=9th Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Caine, 29pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Ahmad Al HarthyAhmad Al Harthy is aiming to continue his consistently strong start to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship season when he arrives at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this coming weekend, 25th/26th May, for the category’s first three-hour race of 2013.

So far in his maiden year of endurance racing, the 31-year-old Omani – who is dovetailing his British GT commitments with a season in the pan-European Blancpain Endurance Series – has produced some outstanding drives and is determined to secure his first podium sooner rather than later.

Finishing sixth last time out at Rockingham in British GT, having taken fourth and ninth place results during the championship opening double-header at Oulton Park, Ahmad and Oman Air Motorbase team-mate Michael Caine are currently equal sixth in the driver standings.

Round three a fortnight ago certainly wasn’t a straightforward outing for the Porsche 997 GT3R pairing, a somewhat harsh drive-through penalty early-on in the two hour encounter forcing a climb through the order. After a sensational drive from Ahmad during the opening stint, Caine also starred in the second half of the race and even a late puncture couldn’t prevent an excellent top six finish.

“It’s good to be back racing so soon after the previous round”, said Ahmad, “We had plenty thrown at us at Rockingham but we still came through with a strong points finish, the team did a great job with the car as they always do and Michael [Caine] put in a fantastic stint. Our race pace has been very good so far, I’m confident we have what it takes to fight for the podium at Silverstone.”

Although the Silverstone encounter will be the most challenging yet for Ahmad in the British GT series itself, the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed driver has already experienced the demands of a three-hour endurance race from the opening round of Blancpain at Monza in April.

“Concentration, focus and consistency are the main things to have in a long race like the three-hour we’ll have at the weekend”, he added, “I learnt a lot on my first outing in Blancpain and, honestly, it wasn’t as tough as I thought a three-hour endurance would be.

“Each time I get in the car in either championship I’m learning something new and I’m really enjoying it. We’ve shown we have the pace, we know we have a fantastic car in the Porsche, and with Michael’s experience I’m looking forward to, what will hopefully be, our best weekend yet.”

Following two free practice sessions on Saturday, 25th May, qualifying for round four will take place at 16.50. On Sunday, 26th May, the three-hour Silverstone GP race will begin at 13.00 and is set to be screened live on Motors TV – check local listings for details.

Provisional 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Standings (after Rd3):
=6th Ahmad Al Harthy/Michael Caine & Jason Minshaw, 26pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Ahmad Al Harthy - British GTSportscar 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.

Ahmad Al Harthy - Oulton Park, British GTOman Air Motorbase driver Ahmad Al Harthy delivered two fantastic performances on his race debut in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Oulton Park on Monday, 1st April, as he and team-mate Michael Caine finished fourth and ninth in the opening two rounds of 2013.

Making a strong impact on the prestigious endurance racing category during qualifying on Saturday, securing an excellent third on the grid for the first of the one-hour encounters, the 31-year-old from Muscat was equally competitive in race conditions and delighted with the whole team effort.

Taking the wheel of the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-liveried Porsche 997 GT3R for the first stint, Ahmad read the rolling start well and maintained his top three placing.

Untroubled, the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am 1 Champion pulled out a healthy gap over the chasing pack and held onto the podium placing until making the mandatory driver-change stop at mid-distance.

Great work by the pit crew enabled Caine to join the track in 10th place and he fought his way back through into fourth, tantalisingly close to the podium – just 0.8 seconds shy at the finish behind the best-placed Mercedes AMG SLS which held the Briton up during the final 12 laps.

“It’s been a very, very positive weekend for us”, said Ahmad, “It’s been extremely challenging, of course, but I’m delighted to have started my GT career so well with two good results. We knew we had a strong race car, fourth was a really good result from the first race, and the team did a good job with the pit-stop. Michael [Caine] worked his way back through very well with some great laps.”

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.
Caine took the opening stint for round two which was set to be a major challenge for Oman Air Motorbase starting, as they did, from the ninth row of the grid. Moving into 17th position on lap one, Caine again became stuck behind slower cars – this time a Mercedes and McLaren P4-12C.

With that in mind, the team took the wise decision to make the driver-change stop as soon as the pits opened and so Caine peeled off the circuit on lap 17 to hand over the Porsche to Ahmad. Joining the track in 20th place and with plenty of work to do, the Omani made great progress and broke into the points-paying top 10 just prior to the emergence of the Safety Car on lap 28.

Racing eventually resumed for a two lap sprint to the finish, Ahmad holding on to the hard-earned 10th place to cap a great drive and a wonderful debut weekend in British GT. Post-race, an amendment to the result was made by officials, elevating the Oman Air Motorbase car to ninth.

Notably too, the endurance racing rookie adapted very well to the characteristics of the Avon Tyres this weekend having spent his entire career in the UK, in both single-seaters and Porsche Carrera Cup GB, on Michelin rubber.

“Race two was very difficult at the start”, he explained, “Michael had to work really hard to try and gain some positions from so far down the grid and he was held up quite badly. When he handed the car over to me I had a lot of work to do, but I did exactly what the team told me and we managed to climb into the points which was great. Our early pit-strategy worked very well.”

Helping to mark his debut in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, Ahmad welcomed a whole host of supporters to Oulton Park’s International Circuit for the season-opener, including his famous sporting compatriot Ali Al Habsi – goalkeeper for Premier League football club Wigan Athletic.

“I really am very grateful to everyone who came to Oulton over the weekend to support me”, he added, “There’s a family from Oman, who are currently in Cardiff, and they drove all the way to see me race, it was great seeing them. It was a pleasure to welcome Ali to Oulton Park too, we’re both very proud to represent Oman in the UK in our respective sports.”

Ahmad now has a five-week break from action with round three of the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship taking place at Rockingham, in Northamptonshire, on Monday, 6th May.

Ahmad Al HarthyAvon Tyres British GT Championship debutant Ahmad Al Harthy delivered an impressive account of himself during the first qualifying session of the 2013 season at Oulton Park International Circuit on Saturday, 30th March, to secure a top three grid slot for the opening race of the year.

Embarking on his maiden season of endurance racing competition, the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am 1 Class Champion made a strong start at the wheel of his Oman Air Motorbase-run Porsche 997 GT3R and lapped the 2.7-mile Cheshire track with a best time of 1m37.338 seconds (99.55mph).

Delivering his quickest effort on the final lap of the opening 15-minute qualifying session, the Omani 31-year-old ended the run third fastest and little more than 0.2 seconds shy of a sensational debut pole position from a bumper grid of 32 cars.

“We had some very, very difficult sessions but we kept working on the set-up throughout and I’m happy with how things progressed”, said Ahmad, “To get P3 on the last lap of my qualifying run was a very solid effort and I’m pleased with it to start my first weekend in British GT.

“Endurance racing is entirely new to us, the important thing is to learn as much as we can each and every weekend and make positive steps forward. Personally, I’m happy with how I performed today and I’m really looking forward to the races on Monday.”

In the second qualifying session, determining the grid for round two, Ahmad’s team-mate Michael Caine – the reigning British GT Champion – took the wheel and had to settle for 19th on the grid with ballast in the car, as a result of winning last year’s title, hampering his charge.

Even so, hopes are high in the Oman Air Motorbase camp of a solid start to the 2013 season when the first two 60-minute races of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship take place on Monday, 1st April, at the picturesque track.

“I know both races will be extremely tough, we have quite a lot of ballast on the car but we’ll do our best to overcome that and deliver two strong performances”, added Ahmad, “This year is such a big learning curve for me, to have started it well in our first qualifying session is very pleasing.”

The Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed driver will be back on track at 10.55 (UK time) on Monday, 1st April, for round one of the season. Round two is scheduled to follow at 14.55.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Ahmad Al HarthyAhmad Al Harthy is preparing to open a fresh chapter in his hugely successful motorsport career this coming weekend, at Oulton Park in the UK, as he begins his first season of endurance racing action in the high-profile Avon Tyres British GT Championship.

Having achieved his aim of winning the Pro-Am 1 class title in the prestigious Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship last year, the Omani wanted to embark on a completely fresh challenge for 2013 and identified British GT as the best place to develop his skills in endurance competition.

Linking-up with the reigning British GT Champion Michael Caine for his debut season in the category, the 31-year-old from Muscat will share a high-powered Porsche 911 GT3-R entered under the ‘Oman Air Motorbase’ banner.

“I really cannot wait for Oulton at the weekend, it’s going to be a fantastic experience and it’s very exciting to be embarking on a completely new challenge and adventure”, said Ahmad, “I’ve had two very positive pre-season tests, one at Oulton and another at Snetterton, so I’m feeling confident we can go into the first round of the British GT season aiming for a very competitive weekend.”

British GT has long been one of the globe’s most popular endurance racing categories and for the coming season has attracted a huge entry list of more than 30 cars, featuring the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin and, of course, Porsche.

Ahmad’s Porsche, which is specifically engineered for endurance-style competition, may look aesthetically similar to the car he raced last year but, under the skin, it’s a much different machine and one which has enjoyed a great deal of success at GT level.

While hopeful of mounting a challenge for the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship crown in his rookie season, Ahmad is also looking to develop his endurance racing skills as strongly as he can for the future where he one day hopes to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

“We have a new team for this year with the guys at Motorbase but we’ve already gelled really well and I know they’ll provide a fantastic car, just as they gave Michael [Caine] last season when he won the championship”, added Ahmad, “The car felt very comfortable in testing, it handles well and is obviously quick. Hopefully Oman Air Motorbase can end the season on top!”

Ahead of the opening pair of races for the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, Oulton Park will host two one-hour practice sessions on Saturday, 30th March, prior to qualifying at 16.30 (UK time). Both races will follow on Monday, 1st April, with round one getting underway at 11.05 and round two set to begin at 14.50.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Ahmad Al Harthy - Porsche GBPorsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am 1 Champion Ahmad Al Harthy will arrive at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit this coming weekend, 20th/21st October, in maximum attack mode as he strives to round-off an outstanding, history-making season with yet more class race wins.

The series finale at the renowned Kent race track will be a huge celebratory affair for the Omani, and his entire Oman Air Racing Team, with a large number of guests travelling from the Sultanate to the UK to help mark Ahmad’s outstanding championship success.

Sealing the title with two rounds to spare at Silverstone just over a week ago, the 31-year-old earned his place in the record books as the first Omani and, indeed, first Arab driver to win a championship at such a level in only his third season of sportscar racing.

Taking his tally of wins to 12 for the year, from 18 races contested, the Muscat driver made sure of the Pro-Am 1 crown in perfect style at Silverstone. Now though, with the pressure of the title race removed from his shoulders, Ahmad is focused on nothing short of victory in rounds 19 and 20.

“Winning the Pro-Am 1 championship is still sinking in to be honest”, he commented, “To be going into the last event of the season knowing what we’ve been working so hard towards over the last three years has been achieved is an amazing feeling.

“Brands Hatch GP is a fantastic circuit, one of the best in the world, not just the UK, and I’m really looking forward to the two races. It’s great knowing I can go into the weekend pushing as hard as possible for two more wins without having to think about the title in the back of my mind, that’ll be a lot of pressure removed so I can just go out there and really enjoy it.”

Backed by Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre, Ahmad is a true sporting hero back home in the Middle East and is relishing the chance to race in front of some of his fellow Omanis this weekend.

“We’re welcoming a lot of supporters, sponsors and friends from Oman to Brands Hatch which will make it really special for me”, he added, “Winning this championship isn’t just about me and the Oman Air Racing Team, it’s hugely important for all of my sponsors and for the country as a whole. I really am delighted I’ll have such fantastic support this weekend, I can’t wait to get out there.”

Following the usual test sessions on Friday, 19th October, qualifying for rounds 19 and 20 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship will take place at 14.15 on Saturday, 20th October. Race one will get underway at 10.00 on Sunday, 21st October, with race two following at approximately 15.15. The second of the weekend’s encounters will be screened live in the UK on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.

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 Rd18):
CHAMPION: Ahmad Al Harthy, 159pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Ahmad Al Harthy - 2012 Pro-Am 1 ChampionOmani sporting star Ahmad Al Harthy has been crowned 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am 1 Champion with two rounds to spare after sealing the title at Silverstone on Sunday, 7th October, in perfect style with a sensational, and very fitting, double victory.

In what has been a near-faultless season for the 31-year-old Oman Air Racing Team driver, wins in rounds 17 and 18 – taking his tally of victories for the year to 12 and his podium count to 16 – mean he goes to Brands Hatch two weeks from now for the season finale with the title well and truly secured. He has also made history as the first Omani and first Arab to win a title in the British series.

“This is absolutely incredible”, said an elated Ahmad, “We’ve all been working so, so hard for this, and everyone at the Oman Air Racing Team has done such an amazing job. Winning this Pro-Am 1 championship is a dream come true and such an important moment for all of my supporters back home in Oman who have made all of this possible.

“I dedicate this win to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and the people of Oman, my family and to everyone who has supported me over the years. Of course, a huge thank you goes to my sponsors Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre.”

He added: “I must say a massive thanks to the guys from Redline Racing, who are behind the Oman Air Racing Team car, they’re the best in the business. I love Silverstone, to be able to get two wins this weekend was exactly what we wanted and to wrap-up the championship with a dominant win is something very special. It’s also a very proud moment for me to be the first Omani and the first Arab driver to win a championship like this in such a prestigious series.”

Capping off an impressive three-year journey in Pro-Am 1, having graduated to sportscar racing in Porsche Carrera Cup GB back in 2010 following a successful single-seater career, Sunday’s triumph is the culmination of a season in which the Muscat ace has made huge strides in terms of performance.

Although starting both races from Pro-Am 1 pole position, Ahmad wasn’t able to make the launch he wanted at the beginning of round 17 – which was initially delayed because of thick fog – due to his grid slot being on a damp part of the track.

Unfortunately slipping to third place, he instantly set about regaining the lost ground and on lap nine he took second at Becketts before grabbing the Pro-Am 1 lead at the same corner on lap 17. Rivals Derek Pierce and Victor Jimenez remained close in his wheeltracks but he held them off for the win.

In round 18, Ahmad made a great start to maintain first place and after seeing off early pressure from Pierce he went on to dominate with a 12 second winning margin over the Scotsman. To put the icing on the celebratory cake, the Omani also posted the fastest Pro-Am 1 lap of the race.

“The team did a great job with the car for race two”, said Ahmad, “We realised after race one there was a problem with the car and the guys worked so hard to sort that out, in the second race the car was absolutely perfect. It’s been an amazing year and now we can go to Brands Hatch without any pressure of the championship, so we can focus on fighting harder than ever for two more wins!”

Rounds 19 and 20 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship will take place at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent two weeks from now, on 20th/21st October.

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 Rd18):
CHAMPION: Ahmad Al Harthy, 159pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Ahmad Al Harthy - Silverstone QualifyingMuscat racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy made an ideal start to the penultimate weekend of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Silverstone National Circuit on Saturday, 6th October, by taking the Pro-Am 1 pole position for rounds 17 and 18.

Going into the event leading the Pro-Am 1 driver standings by a comfortable 48 points, the Oman Air Racing Team driver has enjoyed a remarkably successful season to date with 10 wins and a total of 14 podiums from the 16 rounds contested so far.

During yesterday’s qualifying session, Ahmad’s bid to add to his tremendous results tally got off to the best start possible as he claimed the round 17 pole with a time of 56.852 seconds (103.87mph) before adding the round 18 pole position with a very consistent second best lap of 56.981 seconds.

Both times came during the opening 10 minutes of the half-hour session on his first set of Michelin tyres and although the 31-year-old knew he could go quicker on his second set, he unfortunately wasn’t able to improve – not that it made any difference to the eventual outcome.

“We knew it would be really close in qualifying here”, said the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed driver, “We wanted to get the maximum out of the session, we didn’t manage that in terms of time but we did take both pole positions and that’s the important thing.

“My best run was on my first set of tyres, I was quite happy with that but knew there was more time to come on the second set. Unfortunately, I was just pushing too hard on the second run but we still managed to do what we set out to achieve so I’m happy.”

Ahmad added: “The races will be very close and competitive, there’s very little between the drivers on such a short track [1.64-miles] so we need to try and make the pole positions count and hopefully we can take two more podiums.”

Round 17 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship will take place at 09.00 this morning, Sunday, 7th October, with round 18 following at 15.45. The second of the two races will be screened live in the UK on the ITV4 and ITV4 HD channels with the addition of online streaming 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 Rd16):
1st Ahmad Al Harthy, 141pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.