Ahmad Al Harthy's Oman Racing Team makes positive start at Paul Ricard

Sports Saturday 25/June/2016 13:27 PM
By: Times News Service
Ahmad Al Harthy's Oman Racing Team makes positive start at Paul Ricard

Muscat: Front-running Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am driver Ahmad Al Harthy says he is quietly confident of building on the great momentum achieved during the first two events of the season when final qualifying for round three takes places place at Paul Ricard in France.
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 driver and team-mates Jonny Adam and Devon Modell go into the all-important grid-determining session for tonight’s six-hour Paul Ricard 1000km race off the back of a positive, if not entirely straightforward, start to the weekend on Friday.
Despite an engine issue in the ‘Bronze’ test ruling the trio out of almost the entire session on a particularly hot first day, a new powerplant was rapidly fitted to the No.44 Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Air, National Bank of Oman (NBO), Barr Al Jissah and Omantel liveried car.
Getting preparations properly underway during the second track session, although on the back-foot compared to rival squads the Oman Racing Team powered by Motorbase entry made good progress and went on to post the eighth fastest time in Pro-Am during pre-qualifying – within just 0.5 seconds of the top two in class.
“Paul Ricard six-hour is always a tough weekend, but we’re ready mentally for qualifying and the race”, said Aston Martin Middle East and North Africa ambassador Ahmad, “We had an unfortunate engine issue in the Bronze test, which took away the majority of the first session for us, but the team did a fantastic job to change the engine so quickly.
“We were a bit on the back-foot from there but leant a lot during the next two sessions, and we were happy with the pace in pre-qualifying.
It’s going to be tough to get that perfect lap in qualifying with so many cars out there, but we know what Jonny [Adam] is capable of.”
Heading into the biggest event of the season to date second in the Pro-Am championship, within just three points of the top of the standings, the Aston Martin trio arrived in France this week off the back of a magnificent second place Pro-Am finish during the previous race at Silverstone in the UK.
“We’re expecting another very hot day but the race should be a lot cooler with it starting in the evening”, added Ahmad, “It’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re hopeful of a strong race and looking forward to trying to build on our Silverstone podium.”
Standings (after Rd2): 2nd Ahmad Al Harthy/Jonny Adam/Devon Modell, 30pts
2016 Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Team Standings (after Rd2): 2nd Oman Racing Team powered by Motorbase, 30pts