Motorsport: Oman's Ahmad Al Harthy relishing return to Silverstone
May 9, 2017 | 3:31 PM
by Times News Service
Ahmad Al Harthy is 'very much looking forward' to ‘home’ event at Silverstone. Photo - Supplied

Muscat: Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am points leader Ahmad Al Harthy returns to one of his favourite tracks on May13 and 14, when round two of the already spectacular 2017 season takes place at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the UK.

Al Harthy, who spent nine years racing in Britain before graduating full-time into European level competition last season, has enjoyed great success at Silverstone over the years but the Omani driver secured, arguably, his most prestigious victory yet at Monza in Italy a fortnight ago.

Rewriting the history books as the first Omani driver to win in Pro-Am during the opening race of the new season, Al Harthy – who is partnered by Scottish driver Jonny Adam at Oman Racing – produced one of the performances of his career with a magnificent double stint in the three-hour race.

After getting the 2017 season off to such an incredible start, the Oman Racing duo hope to be in a position to challenge for more silverware at Silverstone a few days from now and they know their TF Sport engineered Oman Racing Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 will be a competitive package.

“Monza was a great weekend, incredible, and the support we got when arriving back in Oman was amazing – it makes everything so worthwhile,” said a joyous Al Harthy.

“Ahead of Silverstone, we’re very much looking forward to it but we have to be grounded as well and we need to focus for the rest of the season.

“There are still areas we need to improve on from the first round and I think the competition will be even harder at Silverstone, a lot of the teams will want to rebound from Monza. We have to make sure we prepare as well as possible but we’re confident we’ll be competitive.”

Notably, it was at the UK round of the Blancpain Endurance Cup last year where Al Harthy, joined at the time by Adam and then third teammate Devon Modell, achieved his maiden podium finish in Pro-Am in the globe’s biggest GT endurance racing championship.

While seeking to keep expectations realistic, Al Harthy – who is backed by Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Air, National Bank of Oman, Omantel, Barr Al Jissah and Amouage – is relishing the prospect of returning to Silverstone for what he refers to as Oman Racing’s ‘home’ event.

“Silverstone is always like a home race for Oman Racing and the support we receive there is very motivating for all of us”, he added, “Obviously, it’s the home race for Jonny and also the guys at TF so it’s a very important weekend for all of us. We’re going there in a very good position, but we’ll be working harder than ever to give ourselves the best chance possible of a good result.”

Following the Bronze Test on May 12 , Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying will take place on May 13, at 10.45 (local time) and 16.10 (local time) respectively. On May 14, Final Qualifying will begin at 09.45 (local time) with the race scheduled to start at 14.55 (local time).

Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Driver Standings (after Rd1): 1. Ahmad Al Harthy/Jonny Adam, 26 pts.

Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Team Standings (after Rd1): 1. Oman Racing, 25 pts.

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