Times of Oman
Motorsport: Ahmad Al Harthy and Oman Racing retain Pro-Am lead
May 15, 2017 | 2:18 PM
by Times News Service
Oman Racing's Ahmad Al Harthy, right, and Jonny Adam celebrate with their trophies. Photo - Supplied
 
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Muscat: Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the UK delivered the second Pro-Am podium result in as many Blancpain Endurance Cup races for Oman Racing drivers Ahmad Al Harthy and Jonny Adam on Sunday, with the duo taking a hard-earned top two class finish. Round two of the season, a dramatic three hour contest, didn’t run entirely smoothly for the No. 97 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 after contact threatened to potentially derail the squad’s challenge. But wonderful performances from Al Harthy and Adam, though, secured a terrific result. Importantly, added to the Pro-Am victory from Monza in Italy last month, this weekend’s second place result ensures the Oman Racing drivers still stand atop the Pro-Am championship table with an enhanced 44 points. In the team standings the outfit, which is engineered by British squad TF Sport, also leads the way on 44 points. “Finishing P2 is an amazing result for us, especially after the contact,” reflected a very pleased Al Harthy. “The team did an amazing job and got us back in the hunt, I was able to go with the flow in my stint and keep pushing for the podium. It’s incredible to have our second podium in two races and to be leading the championship still is so important. “Everyone worked so hard as always, Jonny did an amazing job in the car and we were actually pretty close to challenging for another win in the end. We’re very happy with the result and obviously looking forward now to the next round.”

Oman Racing's Ahmad Al Harthy in action. Photo - Supplied

Following a successful and coordinated run through testing and Pre-Qualifying the day before, the team secured the fourth fastest Pro-Am time in Final Qualifying on Sunday morning thanks to a great lap from Adam of one minute and 59.805 seconds (1:59.805 secs) – only 0.058 seconds away from being third quickest in class. On the overall grid for round two, the Oman Racing entry would line-up in 11th place. Al Harthy took the opening stint of the race which actually required a second green flag lap at the beginning as a result of some drivers not adhering to the expected two-by-two formation for the rolling start. At the second time of asking the action got underway and the Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Air, National Bank of Oman, Omantel, Barr Al Jissah and Amouage backed driver was able to climb into third in Pro-Am during the early running, maintaining the place during the opening half hour. Soon enough, though, the Oman Racing team’s hopes took a knock – literally – when the left-rear of the car was tagged as the field bunched-up behind a slower car. Despite dropping to fifth in Pro-Am, Al Harthy pushed on and during a run of yellow flag periods, Full Course Yellow periods and also Safety Car interventions the Omani continued to run strongly. Following the first pit-stop the Aston Martin held seventh in Pro-Am, having lost some track position through the dramas, but with Al Harthy still behind the wheel he worked his way back into the top five before Adam took over for the final stint. Reeling off terrific lap times, the Scotsman mounted an excellent charge and climbed through into second position in Pro-Am. With another couple of laps it could have been even more, with the Oman Racing car taking the flag at the end of three hours just a second shy of the winning entry. In terms of the pace, Oman Racing’s best lap of 2m02.272 seconds was within a mere hundredth of a second of the best managed by the Pro-Am winning Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to again confirm the very real title challenging credentials of Al Harthy and Adam. Round three of the Blancpain Endurance Cup will take place at Paul Ricard HTTT in France on June 23 and 24. Blancpain Endurance Cup Rd2 Silverstone GP Result: 1. GRT Grasser Racing Team – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Mirko Bortolotti/Christian Engelhart/Andrea Caldarelli) 2. Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Franck Perera/Maximilian Buhk/Jimmy Eriksson) 3. AKKA ASP – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Raffaele Marciello/Edoardo Mortara/Michael Meadows) 21st Oman Racing – Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 (Ahmad Al Harthy/Jonny Adam) Blancpain Endurance Cup Rd2 Silverstone GP Pro-Am Result: 1. Barwell Motorsport – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Patrick Kujala/Adrian Amstutz/Martin Kodric) 2. Oman Racing – Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 (Ahmad Al Harthy/Jonny Adam) 3rd AKKA ASP – Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Jules Gounon/Jean-Luc Beaubelique/Nico Bastian) Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Driver Standings (after Rd2): 1. Ahmad Al Harthy/Jonny Adam, 44 pts. 2. Adrian Amstutz/Martin Kodric/Patrick Kujala, 27 pts. 3. Jules Gounon/Jean-Luc Beaubelique/Nico Bastian, 26 pts. Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Team Standings (after Rd2): 1. Oman Racing, 44 pts, 2. Barwell Motorsport, 27 pts 3. AKKA ASP, 26 pts.


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