Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup: Oman Racing bags pole at Silverstone

May 13, 2019

Ahmad al Harthy drives his car during the qualifying session at the Silverstone circuit on Sunday

Ahead of the second round of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in Silverstone, UK, Oman's experienced racer, Ahmad al Harthy, had said that 'Silverstone is one of my favourite tracks'.

And the track on Sunday did turn out to be successful for Ahmad and his teammates, Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc, as the Oman Racing trio claimed a pole in its Pro-Am class on Sunday morning.

It was the second successive pole for the Oman Racing by TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage car, as the trio had achieved the same result at Monza, Italy, in the opening round last month.

On Sunday, Irishman Eastwood set the fifth-best time overall during his session to bag Pro-Am pole. "We all did a great job," Eastwood toldblancpain-gt-series.com.

"My lap was good. I did get caught up in some traffic, but it happened at an okay moment. Tyre management was key in the session and our pace throughout the weekend has been pretty good."

Earlier, Ahmad, who took the second session, was fastest in his group with a lap time of 2m:01.392s as he took the team to P2 in the combined times after Yoluc opened the qualifying with a P5 in the class with a lap-time of 2:02.452. Eastwood was the last to take on the wheels and clocked a lap-time of 1:59.481 for a combined time of 2:01.108 for the pole.

Ahmad's love-affair with Silverstone goes back to 2007 when he started in British motor racing in Formula Renault singleseaters. In fact, his first major endurance racing career feat was achieved at Silverstone when he achieved his maiden Pro-Am podium in Blancpain Endurance in 2016.

On Sunday, in the Pro class, Grasser Racing secured its second successive pole position with the Lamborghini crew of Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Rolf Ineichen.

At the other end of the grid there was considerably more frustration for a number of leading crews after the red flags during Q1 left them unable to set a lap time, consigning some potential winners to the rear of the grid.

Earlier, Oman Racing started smoothly in the initial ‘Bronze’ test session at the Northamptonshire track on Friday, where Ahmad posted the fifth fastest time in his class.

On Saturday, in the morning’s free practice session, the Oman Racing trio concluded the run a superb second quickest in Pro-Am, with a lap of 2:00.199, which was also an impressive third overall from the combined 48-car entry. And in the subsequent 90-minute pre-qualifying, Ahmad, Eastwood and Yoluc ended the session fifth fastest in class, a lap of 2:01.882.