Times of Oman
Oman motorsport: Ahmad Al Harthy satisfied with good start to Blancpain finale in rain-hit Barcelona
October 1, 2017 | 1:56 PM
by Times News Service
Ahmad Al Harthy: "We have some work to do, we’ll focus on our race pace."
 
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Muscat: Ahmad Al Harthy and Oman Racing teammate Jonny Adam go into the final qualifying session for the fifth and final round of the Blancpain Endurance Cup season in confident mood, after a strong and consistent performance at a rain-hit Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday.

Posting the fifth fastest time in Pro-Am during the important 90-minute Pre-Qualifying session, the 2017 class champions – who secured the title in July’s Total 24 Hours of Spa – made the most of the track time in the wet conditions with rain a possibility again during the three-hour final race.

Beginning the final weekend of the Blancpain season with the eighth fastest time in Pro-Am during the Bronze Test session on Friday, Al Harthy quickly got to grips with the Spanish track on his first ever visit to the Barcelona venue.

Lapping within 0.8 seconds of the outright pace, the No. 97 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 was then sixth in Pro-Am in the main Free Practice session on Saturday, similarly 0.8 seconds shy of the class pace, before concluding the wet Pre-Qualifying period in the Pro-Am top five.



Going into the final day of the Blancpain Endurance Cup campaign, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Air, National Bank of Oman, Omantel, Barr Al Jissah and Amouage-backed racer Al Harthy has his sights set on concluding the season with a 100 percent podium record in Pro-Am.

Having put together a remarkable season to-date, with an unbroken run of four podium finishes including race victory during the championship opener at Monza in Italy, Muscat driver Al Harthy and Scottish teammate Adam are most certainly eyeing more silverware.

“Everything has been good so far, obviously the weather played its part in pre-qualifying but we’re all in the same boat with that,” said Al Harthy. “We have some work to do, we’ll focus on our race pace, but I think final qualifying should be good and then our aim is to try and fight for the podium again in the race – five podiums from five would be absolutely incredible.

“It’s not going to be easy, but things are much more comfortable for us knowing we’ve secured the championship already. Barcelona is a very exciting track, even more exciting in the rain, and it’s good we’ve had some practice time in those conditions as there’s a chance of similar weather in the race. I’m hopeful we will be able to have a strong end to the season, for sure we’ll do the best we can.”

Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Driver Standings (after Rd 4):

Champions: Ahmad Al Harthy/Jonny Adam 108 pts.

2. Salih Yoluc 64 pts.

3. Adrian Amstutz/Martin Kodric/Patrick Kujala 62 pts.

Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Team Standings (after Rd 4):

Champions: Oman Racing 108 pts.

2. Barwell Motorsport 63 pts.

3. Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon 61 pts.

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