STRONG START TO 2010 CONTINUES FOR AL HARTHY AT ROCKINGHAM Redline Racing's Ahmad Al Harthy continued his strong start to the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Rockingham in Northamptonshire over the weekend, 24th/25th April, with a...
STRONG START TO 2010 CONTINUES FOR AL HARTHY AT ROCKINGHAM
Redline Racing's Ahmad Al Harthy continued his strong start to the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Rockingham in Northamptonshire over the weekend, 24th/25th April, with a pair of fine top four finishes in the Pro-Am 1 Class.
Although he was unable to get a clear lap during Saturday's qualifying session, the 28-year-old from Oman still managed to post the fifth quickest time in Pro-Am 1. His second best time, setting the grid for the second of the weekend's races, was actually an improved fourth quickest in class to underline his terrific consistency.
Fighting his way through to fourth in Pro-Am 1 during Saturday afternoon's 18 lap race with a strong performance, finishing just a couple of seconds shy of the class podium, the Oman Air and Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs-backed driver aimed for more during Sunday's race and almost achieved it.
On course for an outstanding second place finish in Pro-Am 1 during round four off the back of an impressive opening to the race, Ahmad was forced off the track at Tarzan Hairpin on lap nine after team-mate Michael Meadows errantly tagged the rear of his car.
Luckily able to rejoin out of the gravel trap on the outside of the turn, Ahmad recovered fourth in class and set about closing down the gap to fellow Pro-Am 1 contender Jonas Gelzinis. In the end, the Omani ace finished around seven seconds shy of the podium but 11 seconds to the good over fellow Redline driver Archie Hamilton.
Reflecting on the weekend, Ahmad said: "From the beginning of testing on Friday we progressed and found more time, especially with the new tyre compound we've used this weekend. In qualifying I was stuck in traffic the whole time, I didn't get one clear lap, so from there we knew we had to have two strong races.
"In race one I managed to climb from fifth to fourth in Pro-Am 1 and we had strong race pace so I aimed to build on that in race two. It started well, we moved up to second in class, but about halfway through the race I got clipped while I was running very comfortably. Luckily I managed to keep the car going but it was disappointing as the podium was there for the taking."
Although the purpose-built Rockingham track is radically different from the former airfield venue at Thruxton where Ahmad excelled on his debut in Porsche three weeks ago, he took no time to adapt to its demands at the wheel of his 420bhp Carrera Cup car.
With that in mind, the Muscat-based driver will be aiming to adapt similarly well to the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit -- a track he has never driven before -- when the famous Kent venue hosts rounds five and six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship next weekend, 1st/2nd May.