On the ball: Ahmad Al Harthy is a true Omani champion
November 28, 2017 | 7:27 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
Ahmad Al Harthy is one of Oman’s finest motorsport racers. He’s won plenty of trophies and many, many more accolades.

I’d heard of the name Ahmad Al Harthy and was a bit nervous when I rung him up a few days ago for comment on an article. Who wouldn’t be?

Ahmad Al Harthy is one of Oman’s finest motorsport racers. He’s won plenty of trophies and many, many more accolades. It’s not because Al Harthy is a champion from Oman, but because he is an Omani champion.

You expect most athletes to have a chip on their shoulder, as they politely smile at you while wishing they were elsewhere. Not Al Harthy, though – he is as Omani as they come, and embodies the spirit of humility, friendliness, and modesty that is a trademark the Sultanate is known for the world over.

Al Harthy’s latest conquests have seen him feted in Paris, having won the Blancpain Endurance racing championship for Oman racing, alongside British racer Jonny Adam. 2017 may be his most successful year ever, having accomplished two championship wins and four podium finishes, but Al Harthy hasn’t forgotten what it took to get there.

“The support that we get from back home is special and being here today highlights the importance of what we have achieved so we can take this further in the future,” he said. “We dream big and hope to for bigger and better things in the future.

“I wouldn’t call it a sacrifice to put aside things to focus on racing, because I truly believe that racing has made me a better person,” added Al Harthy.

“Racing has made me more focused, more passionate, more motivated, more disciplined, and I believe that the youth who are competing in the sport can use this to take them away from the negativity that surrounds them sometimes. This is a very interesting world that we live in, and in the background, there is always something to motivate and protect you.”

Al Harthy won championships at two of Europe’s most feared grounds: The legendary Monza circuit in Italy, and the famed Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, where he raced for 24 hours straight. Just another day in the life of an endurance racer, but Al Harthy has no interest in resting on his laurels. Instead, he’s all the more fired up to top this year’s achievements next year.

“Sometimes, people only see the results and they are not happy with that, but they don’t realise what goes on behind the scenes,” he revealed. “They don’t understand that we are always motivated and even if we win, we come back and we analyse the data and we see how we can do better because we understand that our competitors are going to keep improving, and I think that this doesn’t apply to racing, it also applies to my work, and to the companies that support me, it applies to everything we all do, because the reality is that we cannot even rest for one minute, because if we do, the competition will come running.

“For us to become motivated and achieve success, we have to concentrate, and turn these sacrifices into a positive result,” added Al Harthy.

“We have to travel hours and hours to compete, and we are motivated more than ever because we want to come back with a result, we want to come back with a trophy, we want to come back with a win. We are competing against European individuals and teams who have a race track minutes away from where they live, we beat them and we are quicker than them, so that is what motivates us.”

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