Oman’s Ahmad Al Harthy has this morning, Sunday, 15th August, officially confirmed the eagerly awaited news of his return to the biggest motorsport event in the world, with participation in the prestigious ‘Road To Le Mans’ support races at the globally-renowned Le Mans 24 Hours.
Getting underway later this week at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France, with Road To Le Mans races on Thursday, 19th August, and Saturday, 21st August, the Omani motor racing star will be partnered by American driver Michael Dinan in both 55-minute encounters.
Notably, the No.95 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will be prepared and engineered by the official ‘AMR’ Aston Martin Racing team for the event, which also forms the fourth round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
Al Harthy, of course, last competed as part of a Le Mans 24 Hours weekend back in 2017 when he and then team-mate Tom Jackson scorched to a memorable, and faultless, double victory in the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
Since then the Omani has been dreaming of a return to the most prestigious race event in world motorsport, with a long-term ambition to one day compete as part of the twice-round-the-clock Le Mans 24 Hours itself. For now, though, his focus is solely on the Road To Le Mans races this week.
“I’m very excited to be heading to Le Mans”, said a jubilant Al Harthy, “The 24 Hours of Le Mans is, by far, the biggest racing event of the year worldwide so for us to be present at the Road To Le Mans, which is one of the biggest support events for the weekend, is something I’m very proud of.
“I’m extremely delighted to be racing alongside Michael Dinan, who is partnering me in the Oman Racing car, and I am obviously very excited to be joining forces with Aston Martin Racing for this event with AMR running the car for us. I’m incredibly proud, as ever, to be representing Oman at such a prestigious event.”
He added: “We had amazing results at Le Mans in 2017 and it’s always a great opportunity to be able to race there. We’ll give it our best, as always, and can’t wait to see how we can progress through the event. It’s going be a long race meeting, we have a few testing sessions, two qualifying sessions and then the first race on Thursday, the other on Saturday. I can’t wait to get started on track.”
All of the action for the Road To Le Mans will take place on the very same full 13.6-kilometre track on which the Le Mans 24 Hours itself will run – meaning all of the world-famous challenges await Al Harthy, such as Tertre Rouge, the Forest Esses, Indianapolis and, of course, the Mulsanne Straight.
Across two classes, GT3 – in which Al Harthy and Dinan will race – and also LMP3, organisers expect a huge entry of 46 cars for the coming week’s action at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Oman Racing’s Aston Martin will battle the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG and Audi.
Following two free practice sessions on Wednesday, 18th August, the race one qualifying session for the Road To Le Mans will get underway at 10.40 local time on Thursday, 19th August, and will then be immediately followed by the second 20-minute session. Race one will get underway later that evening at 19.30 local time.
Race two is scheduled to begin at 12.15 local time on Saturday, 21st August, less than four hours before this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours begins.
Live timing and live online coverage of all of the Road To Le Mans action will be available HERE
Source. Marc Orme