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Motorsport: Oman’s top racer Ahmad Al Harthy relishing Gulf 12hrs
December 11, 2018 | 2:27 PM
by Times News Service
Oman's top racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy speaking to his instructor during a pit stop. Supplied photo
 
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ABU DHABI: Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi hosts the spectacular end-of-year Gulf 12 Hours on December 15, where Oman’s premier racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy is aiming to end 2018 on a real high.



While the increasingly popular event, one of the Middle East’s endurance racing crown jewels, marks the final track action of the calendar year for Al Harthy, it also signifies the beginning of a brand new chapter for Oman Racing with the introduction of the latest Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

As one of the very first customer teams in the world to have the opportunity to work with the brand new car from the legendary British sportscar manufacturer, Oman Racing is, indeed, part of a select group and intends to showcase the stunning challenger to its fullest in the Gulf 12 Hours.

Muscat driver Al Harthy goes into this weekend’s high-profile race meeting determined to challenge for podium success and he is joined by two of the most highly rated professional ‘works’ drivers in global endurance racing, British duo Jonny Adam and Darren Turner.


All three drivers know each other very well, having worked closely as team-mates on a number of occasions. Scottish driver Adam, of course, partnered Al Harthy to championship victory in the Pro-Am class of the Blancpain Endurance Cup in 2017 while Turner joined both to secure a top three finish in the Gulf 12 Hours back in 2015 – Aston Martin’s debut in the event.

“I really am looking forward to the Gulf 12 Hours this weekend, it’s a great event and we have a lot of people coming from Oman to Abu Dhabi, as it’s so close, which will be fantastic”, commented Al Harthy, “It’s very important for Oman Racing to be one of the first customer teams to be working with the new Aston Martin, and the grid looks like it’ll be the strongest ever for the 12 hours.

“There are a number of incredibly strong factory line-ups, so it’s going to be a hugely competitive race, but I’m absolutely delighted to be teaming with Jonny [Adam] and Darren [Turner]. It’s great to be working together again and while we know it’s going to be a big challenge, we also know we have a very competitive line-up and a great team behind us with the guys at TF Sport.”

As throughout this year’s Blancpain Endurance Cup, Al Harthy’s maiden season as a ‘Silver’ graded driver, the Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin will feature backing from Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Air, National Bank of Oman, Omantel, Barr Al Jissah and Amouage.

Yas Marina Circuit will host the first practice session for the Gulf 12 Hours on December 13, ahead of more practice runs and qualifying on December 14.

As always, the Gulf 12 Hours race takes place in two parts – the first six hours of action will start on December 15, and following a break of around three hours the second part of the encounter will commence.

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