PORSCHE STAR AL HARTHY ENDS SEASON WITH DETERMINED PUSH Omani racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy concluded his maiden season of action in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship with a typically determined podium push at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in...
PORSCHE STAR AL HARTHY ENDS SEASON WITH DETERMINED PUSH
Omani racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy concluded his maiden season of action in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship with a typically determined podium push at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent this afternoon, Sunday, 10th October, but just missed out on adding to yesterday's round 19 rostrum.
Even so, the 29-year-old concludes the campaign fourth in the Pro-Am 1 Class driver standings with six superb podium finishes to his credit and has most definitely laid down a firm marker with regard to his potential for next season.
Supported by Oman Air, National Bank of Oman, Nawras, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Brand Oman, the Muscat-based driver has enjoyed a tremendous first season in the realms of sportscar racing and is fully focused on taking the experience gained forward into a Pro-Am 1 title bid in 2011.
"It's been a fantastic season, I've enjoyed every minute and I want to take this opportunity to once again thank my incredible portfolio of sponsors -- we've shared in some great success in my first year in Porsche GB", said Ahmad, "The first thing I said at the start of this season was I wanted to learn about this style of racing and improve, we've definitely done that."
Off the back of his sixth Pro-Am 1 podium with a tremendous drive during round 19 on Saturday, the Redline Racing driver headed into this afternoon's final round of 2010 aiming to match the result and by starting third in class on the grid he had a great chance.
Getting away well as the lights went out, Ahmad moved inside Pro driver Charlie Bateman through the first corner but then lost out to Pro-Am 1 rival Tony Gilham shortly after to slip to fourth in class on lap one.
Running close behind Gilham for almost the entire duration, the pair never had much more than a few 10ths of a second between them and in terms of lap times Ahmad was the quicker of the two with a fastest of 48.025 seconds -- just over 0.2 seconds shy of Jonas Gelzinis' Pro-Am 1 best.
Piling on the pressure Ahmad built himself up to a move three laps before the conclusion and as they headed out of Surtees into the right-hander at McLaren, the Omani went for the inside but he and Gilham made contact and a resulting spin for Ahmad dropped him to an eventual finish of fifth.
"I knew I could be on the podium again today and it would have been the perfect way to end the season", he added, "Throughout the race he (Gilham) was defending all the time and in the end I had to try something.
"I thought there was room to make a move, the door then closed a bit and there was nowhere to go. It's a shame but we had a podium on Saturday which was a really strong way for us to end the season. Thank you to the guys at Redline Racing for giving me a fantastic car all year."
Final 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB 'Pro-Am1' Class Standings: Champion: Ollie Jackson, 199pts; 4th Ahmad Al Harthy, 106pts