Ahmad’s Oman Racing hopes for another podium in Pro-Am class
The Oman Racing trio of Ahmad al Harthy, Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc kick-started their 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup campaign with a third-place finish in the Pro-Am class at the famed Monza circuit in Italy last month.
In a rain-affected race, the trio managed a podium despite suffering two punctures after qualifying at pole position in its class. The team now heads to the second round of the series at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the UK, which will be held on May 11-12. The podium in Monza was the first for Aston Martin achieved in Blancpain in the latest generation Vantage GT3 car.
Ahead of the Silverstone race, Ahmad said, “Monza was a very strong weekend for Oman Racing and we’re all absolutely determined to keep the same momentum going at Silverstone.
“To take pole position for the first race of the year was incredible and we really did have a great chance to fight for the win...until that double puncture.”
The Muscat-based driver added, “To be able to salvage third place in our class after that [double punctures] was credit to everyone. It’s so important to score well in every round of championship, which is by far the most competitive of its kind in the world. We’re confident ahead of Silverstone, as we’ve always done well there in the past.”
Overall, the Oman Racing team finished 35th among a fleet of 48 cars.
Silverstone is more like an adopted ‘home’ race for Ahmad with the Omani driver having a long history in the UK. Starting out in British motor racing back in 2007 in Formula Renault single-seaters, he went on to progress into the one-make Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship where he became Pro-Am 1 Champion in 2012.
Ahmad then moved into endurance racing for the first time in the British GT Championship the following year and claimed more glory in 2015 with the Silver Cup title. It was at Silverstone in 2016 where Ahmad achieved his maiden Pro-Am podium in Blancpain Endurance.
“Silverstone has always been one of my favourite tracks. It’s played a huge part in my career over the years and holds lots of special memories for Oman Racing,” said Ahmad.
He added, “We know how good the car is, how good our team is, so we’re very positive for the weekend.”
Following pre-event testing, free practice on Saturday, pre-qualifying will held later in the evening.
On Sunday, the final qualifying begins in the morning with the race later in the day.