Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup: Oman Racing grabs third successive Pro-Am pole

June 02, 2019

L-R: Charlie Eastwood, Ahmad al Harthy and Salih Yoluc at Paul Ricard

The Oman Racing trio of Ahmad al Harthy, Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood, continued their impressive run in the qualifying rounds of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, as they notched up their third successive pole in the Pro-Am class, at Paul Ricard in France on Saturday.

The #97 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 secured the top spot in qualifying in all the three races it has competed, beginning with the pole in Monza, Italy and following it up at the Silverstone circuit in UK.

On Saturday at the at the Le Castellet circuit, Yoluc began the six-hour 1,000km race at the French venue and ended P5 in his class with 1m:55.080s and an overall 37th. A total of seven cars are competing in the Pro-Am class at Paul Ricard.

Ahmad, the Muscat-based racer, then took over the wheels and a stellar run  put the car in P2 in class with only Q3 to go as he clocked 1m:54.336s for an overall 25th place among a large grid of 48 cars.

Ram Racing's Darren Burke was the fastest in the class in Q2 in his Mercedes-AMG GT3 with a time of 1m:54.204s.

Eastwood, who has been in terrific form this season, then completed his qualifying round in a time of 1m:53.139s for the pole and an overall P6.

Overall in the combined qualifying, Oman Racing was placed 24th with an average of 1m:54.185s.

The #107 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3 team of Jordan Pepper, Steven Kane, Jules Gounon will start from overall pole position after the team clocked a combined time of 1m:52.671s.

Earlier, on Friday, the Oman Racing trio made an excellent start with the team lapping second fastest in both free practice and pre-qualifying.

Ahmad started off with the fifth fastest time in Pro-Am in the Bronze test session.

In the subsequent 90-minute free practice period, the Oman Racing entry was second in itsclass as he timed an improved effort of 1m54.817s.

Ahmad, Eastwood and Yoluc were second in class once again in the pre-qualifying but with an enhanced sixth quickest overall with a time of 1m53.382s.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's qualifying session, Ahmad said, “We had a very good day of testing on Friday. We worked on a lot of things for qualifying pace and race pace.”

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