Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup: Oman Racing ends season with fifth spot in Barcelona
A series of multiple safety car periods in the final race of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday dashed the hopes of Oman Racing's podium finish as the trio of Ahmad al Harthy, Euan McKay and Charlie Eastwood finished fifth in the Silver Cup class, which comprised nine teams.
It was a maiden Silver Cup season for Ahmad and Oman Racing. It concluded its season without a podium and finished seventh overall in its class with 47 points. Raffaele Marciello wrapped up the overall Endurance Cup title with Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP along with Tristan Vautier and Daniel Juncadella.
The Endurance Cup Silver Cup honours were won by Emil Frey Jaguar crew of Alex Fontana, Adrian Zaugg and Mikael Grenier with a total of 103 points.
Driving the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 car, Ahmad and his team, began the race after qualifying sixth fastest.
Ahmad took the opening stint and battled closely with some top ‘Pro’ graded drivers.
He climbed to fifth in class early but ended his stint at sixth before McKay took over for the next hour, during which the team stayed at fifth. Eastwood's stint was marred by a series of safety car interruptions that put the Oman Racing entry a lap down.
In the end, Eastwood finished a relatively successful, but frustrating fifth.
“It was quite hot out there, quite tiring out there,” said Ahmad. “I’m really happy with my overall performance this weekend. In qualifying, I was pleased with my pace and we made a massive step forward, although on the combined grid things changed a bit.
“In the opening stint of the race I was trying to keep up with the faster Pro drivers and do the best I could.”
He added, “Everyone drove perfectly and we kept away from incidents but the safety cars didn’t work in our favour at all and we ended up a lap down late on. It’s a real shame as more was possible, but it’s still a good way to finish the season.”
“I’ve enjoyed this season, it is a big step on from Pro-Am into Silver. It’s been a learning season for us, and we’ve learnt so much.”