Experienced GT3 motor racing champion Ahmad Al Harthy has officially confirmed a brand new challenge for his main 2022 motorsport season, a move into GTE competition in the prestigious European Le Mans Series with Oman Racing.
Al Harthy, a double Pro-Am Champion in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, is to take on the GTE class of the European Le Mans Series along with British driver Sam De Haan – whom the Omani partnered in February’s ALMS – and star Aston Martin factory driver Marco Sorensen.
Notably, Al Harthy enjoys fantastic continuity in terms of his partners for the ELMS with the Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, OQ, Omantel and MHD-ITICS all providing their key support for the full six event season.
“I am incredibly excited to be taking on this fantastic new challenge in GTE in the European Le Mans Series and, of course, so very proud to be representing Oman on such a prestigious stage”, said Al Harthy, “We have a fantastic team in Oman Racing and I’m absolutely delighted to be teaming with Sam and Marco for this new chapter, I really am looking forward to racing alongside them both.
“The Aston Martin GTE is a new challenge for me, but testing so far has gone well and working with a driver as successful as Marco and the guys at TF Sport – who know the car – means we’re taking a lot of positivity forward into the ELMS season.”
He added: “I’m delighted to have the ongoing support of my incredible sponsors, it’s wonderful to have OQ returning as a key strategic partner alongside the Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Omantel, MHD-ITICS. Hopefully we can all enjoy a successful season and be in the fight for podiums, race wins and the championship at the end of the season.”
Following a two-day officially timed test at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, which concludes today, Tuesday, 12th April, the opening four-hour race of the 2022 European Le Mans Series will take place this coming Sunday, 17th April, at the Le Castellet track.
The championship will then visit legendary circuits Imola and Monza, both in Italy of course, Barcelona in Spain and Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps, before reaching a conclusion on Sunday, 16th October, at Portimao in Portugal.
Oman Racing’s stunning black and silver No.69 Aston Martin GTE will be prepared and engineered by long-time partner team TF Sport which has been instrumental in the many successes enjoyed by Al Harthy over recent seasons.
The GTE specification car has significant differences to the Vantage GT3 which Al Harthy most recently raced in the Asian Le Mans Series. Featuring a larger rear wing, much bigger rear diffuser and aerodynamic changes to the front splitter and side skirts of the car, it also has a number of changes under the skin which all go toward making GTE cars several seconds a lap faster than the GT3.
Platinum graded Danish driver Sorensen needs no introduction in the world of endurance racing, the Aston Martin factory driver having twice previously won the LMGTE Pro Championship in the FIA World Endurance Championship. British racer De Haan, who is graded Silver, is experienced in GTWCE and the British GT Championship, winning the Pro-Am title in British GT in 2019.
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. Andrew Lofthouse