Middle East podium in Al Harthy’s sights in big 8hr finale in Bahrain

Sports Saturday 04/November/2023 12:27 PM
By: Times News Service
Middle East podium in Al Harthy’s sights in big 8hr finale in Bahrain
Muscat: Oman Racing with TF Sport’s Ahmad Al Harthy has given the team a great chance to challenge for the podium during the final race of the FIA World Endurance Championship season in Bahrain today, Saturday, 4th November, after qualifying a highly competitive third fastest.
Preparing well throughout the three free practice sessions, with Al Harthy and team-mates Michael Dinan and Charlie Eastwood focusing on race set-up for the big eight hour contest, in qualifying the Omani was in his usual impressive form.
On his first true flying lap in the all-important run on Friday, 3rd November, Al Harthy shot into the top three on the timing screens in GTE Am with an excellent time of 1m59.199s. On his next lap at the wheel of the No.25 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, he improved marginally to go second fastest with a time of 1m59.161s.
Ultimately, he slipped to third before the chequered flag, less than two tenths of a second shy of the front row of the grid, but the top three start in Bahrain is one Al Harthy and Oman Racing are more than satisfied with.
In today’s race, Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, OQ, Omantel and MHD-ITICS supported Al Harthy will be aiming to proudly fly the flag for Oman during FIA WEC’s Middle Eastern finale, bidding for the third podium of his maiden season in the championship.
Temperatures in Bahrain have been high, and the Sakhir circuit is known for high tyre wear too, so consistency and reliability will be as important as ever. Going into the last race of the campaign, Al Harthy, Dinan and Eastwood are fifth in the driver standings with Oman Racing fifth in the team points table also.
Ahmad Al Harthy said: “It was a solid qualifying to be honest. It’s very difficult to get a perfect lap here in Bahrain because of the high tyre wear, but we were very close to maximising our performance. It’s going to be a long eight hour race, so third is a very good place to start from.
“We’re happy with that, P3 gives us a good chance to race and we have worked throughout practice so far to make sure we have a good car for the race. More than anything else, the weather is the hottest it’s been on the calendar, so hopefully as the sun sets the temperatures will begin to drop.”
Round seven, the final eight-hour race of the FIA World Endurance Championship season, will get underway later today at 14.00 local time in Bahrain. Follow live at www.fiawec.com
2023 FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Am Driver Standings:
5th Ahmad Al Harthy / Michael Dinan / Charlie Eastwood, 65pts
2023 FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Am Team Standings:
5th Oman Racing with TF Sport, 65pts