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Oman Racing Team driver Ahmad eyes first points at Blancpain series


Ahmad Al Harthy. Photo - Supplied

Muscat: Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit welcomes the Blancpain Endurance Series on May 24 and 25, where Ahmad Al Harthy and the Oman Racing Team (ORT) are confident of securing their first championship points of the season.

While the squad's Avon Tyres British GT Championship campaign has already delivered a race victory this year, the first event of its dovetailed Blancpain Endurance Series programme in Italy last month unfortunately reached an untimely conclusion early in the final hour due to an electrical problem.

Up until that point, Ahmad and British teammates Michael Caine and Stephen Jelley had performed impressively and were well on course for points scoring success on the team's 'official' race debut with its Oman Air, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Sports Affairs, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Al Hashar Group/Aston Martin Oman-liveried Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.

With that in mind, the squad is determined to chalk-up an overall top 10 finish during the Silverstone three-hour race on Sunday which promises to be one of the real highlight events of 2014 – especially being the home Blancpain Endurance Series meeting for Caine, Jelley and Motorbase Performance which prepares the Oman Racing Team car.

"Silverstone GP Circuit is a fantastic track, I always enjoy racing there," said 32-year-old Ahmad. "We were very unfortunate to miss out on the points at Monza, but the pace we showed – race pace in particular – was very strong and that gives us a lot of confidence going into next weekend's race.

"It's definitely going to be a big weekend for all of the guys at Motorbase and, of course, Michael and Stephen being the British round. There's obviously added motivation there for that reason, but we always give 100 percent as it is! Aside from the electrical problem at Monza, everything else was great so we're feeling very positive going into Silverstone and really looking forward to it."

During the corresponding event last year, Ahmad made history as the first driver of Arab origin to stand atop a podium in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Winning the GTR class on only his second weekend in the championship, teamed with Slovakian Gentleman driver Miro Konôpka, the Muscat driver is now part of the headline Pro Cup category and thoroughly enjoying the competitiveness.

"Blancpain is an incredibly challenging championship, the competition is of the highest standard and you always have to be at the top of your game," added Ahmad. "Racing against the best teams and drivers is where we want to be and need to be and, if we can have a problem free run at Silverstone, we know the potential is there to be in the points on Sunday."

Following pre-event practice on May 23 and May 24, qualifying for second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series will take place at 0900 on May 25, with the Silverstone three hour race scheduled to begin at 1455 hours.

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