Oman Racing confident of podium finish after qualifying overall fifth
Consistent good pace by the trio of Ahmad Al Harthy, Jonny Adam and Darren Turner saw Oman Racing team qualify fifth overall and third in its class at the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on Friday.
The team displayed good pace in practice and qualifying and was regularly in the top four during the various sessions with the brand new Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
However, a red flag stoppage just before the end of the third and final qualifying session on Friday prevented Oman Racing from a near-certain start on the first couple of rows. But it still managed fifth overall on the grid, third in the GT3 Pro class.
Powered by British squad TF Sport the Oman Racing entry was the fastest of the Aston Martin teams. “Every day since we’ve been with the new car we’ve made good progression. I’m really happy with how we’re moving forward”, said Ahmad.
“I was very happy with my qualifying run in session one, Darren [Turner] had a great lap too in his session and Jonny [Adam] was on a quick lap at the end, but the session was red flagged.
“We couldn’t fully maximise our starting position as a result, but fifth overall and third in GT3 is still very good and we have a long race ahead which we’re all really looking forward to. We know the new Aston Martin is very quick and we’re all feeling very confident.”
During the official ‘night’ testing on Thursday, Oman Racing was the quickest of the Aston Martin teams with the ninth fastest time overall.
Free practice on Friday ran across three sessions and in the opener Oman Racing was an improved fourth overall, fourth again in session two and then an excellent second quickest in session three, less than 0.2 seconds shy of the top of the times.
Heading into the trio of qualifying sessions, Ahmad posted the fourth quickest time, second in the GT3 Pro class, with a time of 2m09.959s. In the second run, Turner took over driving duties and he produced a time of 2m09.080s to secure fifth overall and third in class. Adam got behind the wheel for session three and was on a very quick effort right at the end, but the red flags meant he wasn’t able to complete his lap and finished up with a time of 2m09.744s.