Ahmad Al Harthy is busy making final preparations ahead of this coming weekend’s final round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit where the Oman Racing Team driver, along with regular partner Michael Caine, has a chance of winning the 2014 title.
The task awaiting the race winning duo at the famous East Midlands track is by no means an easy or straightforward one, with a big points gap to bridge in round 10, but whatever the outcome on Sunday, 14th September, it’s been a sensational season for the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 duo.
Only the No.4 Oman Racing Team pairing can prevent Ecurie Ecosse driver Marco Attard from claiming the coveted title but with the BMW Z4 pilot taking a 28.5 point lead into the championship finale, overhauling the Scotsman won’t be easy with a maximum of 37.5 points available for the win.
Ahmad and Caine have to win the Donington race, with Attard and his team-mate Alexander Sims finishing no higher than seventh. Should that precise result occur, the Oman Racing Team duo would claim the British GT crown on count-back by virtue of three wins to the two of Attard and Sims.
“It’s going to be a huge weekend at Donington, we know the chances of winning the championship are slim but to just be challengers going into the final round is a great feeling and shows what an incredible job everyone at the Oman Racing Team has done this year”, said Ahmad.
“We’ve had a fantastic season in British GT, it’s our first year with the Aston Martin and the car has been incredible from the word go. We’d obviously love to win the championship, that really would be a dream outcome, but if we can end the season in the top three it’ll be a great achievement.”
Engineered by British squad Motorbase Performance, the Oman Racing Team car nonetheless runs under an Omani licence for the first time this year – something which carries an immense amount of pride for Muscat 33-year-old Ahmad.
While heading into the Donington weekend third in the driver standings, the Oman Racing Team as a whole – including the second Aston Martin of Rory Butcher and Jeff Smith – actually leads the Team Championship by 12 points. With two chances of securing championship silverware this weekend, the atmosphere in the team garage will be electric.
“We know Donington will be tough, but we can’t wait”, added Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Al Hashar Group/Aston Martin Oman-supported Ahmad, “The whole season comes down to this two-hour race. Hopefully we can have strong preparation, qualify well and then be there at the end – it’s going to be exciting!”
Following two free practice sessions on Saturday, 13th September, qualifying for round 10 of the British GT season will begin at 15.50 (UK time). On Sunday, 14th September, the big two-hour race will get underway at 12.55 (UK time).
Provisional 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Driver Standings (after Rd9):
1st Marco Attard (BMW), 148.5pts; 2nd Alexander Sims (BMW), 129.5pts; 3rd Ahmad Al Harthy & Michael Caine (Aston Martin), 120pts
Provisional 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Team Standings (after Rd9):
1st Oman Racing Team (Aston Martin), 160.5pts; 2nd Ecurie Ecosse (BMW), 148.5pts; 3rd Trackspeed (Porsche), 133.5pts
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. Jack Mitchell
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