Motorsport: Ahmad Al Harthy positive about Oman Racing’s Silverstone hopes
May 14, 2017 | 2:00 PM
by Times News Service
Oman Racing's Ahmad Al Harthy, left, speaks to his teammate Jonny Adam. Photo - Supplied

Muscat: Oman Racing’s Ahmad Al Harthy believes the team has prepared as strongly as possible for the second race of the 2017 Blancpain Endurance Cup at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, schedule for Sunday, after a trouble-free run during Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying.

Arriving on UK shores for round two of the campaign holding the Pro-Am championship lead, after a history-making win during the season-opener at Monza in Italy last month, Al Harthy and teammate Jonny Adam got the Silverstone weekend off to a great start on Friday and Saturday.

During the opening ‘Bronze Test’ on Friday afternoon, Al Harthy steered the No. 97 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 to the third quickest time and in Saturday’s subsequent Free Practice the Muscat ace rocketed to the top of the timesheets with a best lap of two minutes and 0.510 seconds (2:00.510) – four tenths of a second quicker than anyone.

Focusing thereafter on set-up work for the three-hour race, Al Harthy and Adam didn’t push for a representative time in Pre-Qualifying in order to fine tune the TF Sport-engineered Oman Racing car for this morning’s all-important Final Qualifying session.

“Everything has gone really well so far,” said Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Air, National Bank of Oman, Omantel, Barr Al Jissah and Amouage backed driver Al Harthy.

“We had a good run on Friday, then had a very good first test session on Saturday – we decided to push and see what we could get out of the car. We then worked on set-up for the remainder of that session.

“In the Pre-Qualifying we focused more on the race pace, making small changes, and I think we’re in a strong position for both qualifying and the race. Obviously, we’re carrying strong momentum from Monza to Silverstone so hopefully we can do it when it matters this weekend.”

He added: “We have a strong running plan and we’re really looking forward to the race. In terms of the conditions, the track has been getting quicker and quicker, so better and better. We’re sure it’ll be a very competitive final qualifying but we intend to challenge hard for a strong result.”

The hotly anticipated three-hour race is scheduled to begin at 14.55 (local time).

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