Decorated Omani racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy will embark on, arguably, his highest profile season of competition yet this year after officially confirming a move into the globe’s biggest endurance racing category – the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Revealing the full details of his 2023 campaign at the Muscat headquarters of the Oman Automobile Association on Sunday evening, 26th February, during a specially organised event attended by a range of dignitaries, sponsors and key partners, Al Harthy confirmed the history-making ‘dream move’ into FIA World Endurance where he will again race for the Oman Racing with TF Sport squad.
Al Harthy, a double Pro-Am Class Champion and multiple race winner in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, Pro-Am winner at the Total 24 Hours of Spa and a race winner in GTE in the European Le Mans Series, will be partnered by Charlie Eastwood and Michael Dinan.
The highly competitive trio will share the No.25 Aston Martin GTE in the GTE Am class of FIA World Endurance, the only class for production-based cars in the prestigious championship – which will feature a total of 38 entries across all three of its classes this season. Notably, 2023 marks the 110th anniversary of the world-famous Aston Martin marque.
Importantly, Al Harthy retains his incredibly supportive and very high-profile portfolio of sponsors for the coming season at world level, namely the Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, OQ, Omantel and MHD-ITICS.
Beginning with the Official Prologue test days at Sebring in the USA on 11th/12th March, the opening race of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship season – the 1,000 miles of Sebring – will be contested on 17th March at the renowned Florida track.
The championship will then visit Portimao in Portugual and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in April before endurance racing’s crown jewel event, the Le Mans 24 Hours in France, over the weekend 10th/11th June – Al Harthy’s debut in the legendary classic.
In July the category visits Monza in Italy, the penultimate race of the season will be at Fuji in Japan in September and the championship will conclude in the Middle East on 4th November at Bahrain International Circuit.
Ahmad Al Harthy:
“I’m super-excited to officially confirm Oman Racing’s entry and debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship in GTE Am, this is such a dream move for everyone associated with Oman Racing and the culmination of so much hard work behind the scenes with all of our amazing partners and, of course, Tom Ferrier and his team at TF Sport.
“For me, this is by far the biggest challenge of my career but one I am absolutely relishing alongside my very capable team-mates Charlie [Eastwood] and Michael [Dinan]. There are new circuits for me to learn and plenty of new competition, I can’t wait to get started! I have to say the biggest thank you to my incredible sponsors for their support, none of this would be possible without them, and also to everyone at the Oman Automobile Association for our launch event and their support as well.
“We have been competing at a very high level in endurance racing for a decade now, representing Oman very proudly, and we’ve enjoyed some amazing success during that time with many race wins, podiums and championship victories too. We are now at the pinnacle in FIA World Endurance, the top rung on the ladder, and I am more determined than ever to fly the flag high for Oman.”
Ashraf Hamed Al Mamari
Chief Executive People, Technology and Culture, OQ:
“Our commitment to supporting the best Omani talents means we are delighted to continue our support of Ahmad and the Oman Racing team. This is reflected in the unwavering commitment of OQ, the Global Integrated Energy Group, towards excellence, aiming high and achieving success on international stages within integrated energy. So the synergy with Oman Racing is evident as we all strive to be the very best we can.”
Saba Said Al Busaidi
Senior Manager Corporate Affairs, Omantel:
“Once again Omantel is extremely proud to partner with Ahmad and Oman Racing for the new season and we are very much looking forward to an exciting year as part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. We have enjoyed a highly successful and rewarding partnership with Ahmad throughout his career, we are delighted to continue being a key partner at this exciting time.”
Honourable Lujaina Mohsin Darwish
“MHD-ITICS is extremely proud of its association with Ahmad Al Harthy as our Brand Ambassador. The Omani racing icon has raised the National Flag high at various international podiums in motorsports, we wish him all the very best as he takes up yet another new challenge this year at World Championship level. Our partnership is a testament to our unwavering faith in his abilities and our shared values, and this partnership has definitely helped us showcase and promote our brand – not just in Oman, but internationally.”
Brigadier Jamal Al Ta’ei
Vice Chairman of the Oman Automobile Association:
“On behalf of the Oman Automobile Association I would like to say how very proud we are to have been central to the official launch of Ahmad and Oman Racing’s 2023 motor racing programme. It is going to be a huge year for Ahmad with the step-up into the World Championship, we are delighted to be supporting him as he takes on the very best competition in the world.”
Source. Marc Orme
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