Oman Racing’s Ahmad Al Harthy says he is quietly confident of mounting a competitive challenge during the first race of the Blancpain Endurance Cup season at Monza in Italy later today, Sunday, 14th April, after a strong and consistent start to the weekend on his return to the Pro-Am class.
Muscat driver Al Harthy, who is joined for the 2019 campaign in the globe’s biggest GT3 endurance racing championship by Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc, was happy with the performance he delivered behind the wheel of the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage in free practice and Pre-Qualifying.
Showing good pace during practice on Saturday, 13th April, while working through some key set-up work for the first three hour race of the new season, the Oman Racing trio concluded the run with a best time of 1m48.591 seconds to end the session sixth in Pro-Am.
During the late afternoon’s Pre-Qualifying period, Al Harthy and his team-mates placed sixth fastest again in Pro-Am, this time with a lap of 1m49.573 seconds, to deliver the sort of consistency which is crucial in Blancpain Endurance Cup racing.
Importantly too, the day provided key running in both the dry and wet and with rain expected for final qualifying this morning Al Harthy is more than satisfied with the work the team completed in all conditions.
Monza, of course, was the venue for his maiden race victory in Pro-Am two years ago during his history-making championship winning season, and the Oman Racing driver is positive about the team’s chances this time around.
“We’ve had some good sessions so far at Monza, working to understand the car in wet and dry conditions and working hard on the set-up for the race”, said the National Bank of Oman, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Omantel and Barr Al Jissah supported driver, “It’s looking like it will definitely be wet for final qualifying so it’s important to have the balance right with the new car.
“Overall, everyone has done a good job so far and we’re confident we have put together a strong car for the race which is obviously the most important thing. Hopefully we can qualify competitively and then be in a good position to race well, I’m certainly satisfied with practice and Pre-Qualifying.”
Final qualifying gets underway at Monza this morning at 09.40 (local time) with the opening three hour race of the Blancpain season starting at 15.00 (local time).
Live online streaming will be carried at the SRO ‘GT World’ channel on You Tube and also at the official championship website HERE
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. Jakob Ebrey Photography