Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit hosts the finale of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship this coming weekend, 12th/13th September, where just 120 minutes of race action stand between Oman’s Ahmad Al Harthy and the coveted Silver Cup title.
Going into round nine of the ultra-competitive season at the world-famous Leicestershire venue, the Oman Racing Team driver – who celebrated his 34th birthday last week – leads the way in the Silver Cup battle by 9.75 points and is also seventh in the overall GT3 driver standings.
Teaming again with Aston Martin factory driver Alex MacDowall, who made his maiden appearance with the Oman Racing Team at Snetterton 300 Circuit just over a fortnight ago, Ahmad is determined to try and end the season with an outright race win.
Last time out at Snetterton the duo were on course for a famous victory in round seven, until an errant GT4 car made contact with the No.2 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 during the second half of the contest when MacDowall was at the wheel.
Cruelly robbed of a near-certain win, Ahmad is more committed than ever to conclude his third year in the globally renowned championship in winning ways when British GT arrives at Donington a few days from now. The chief aim, though, remains the bid to emerge victorious in the Silver Cup scrap with McLaren pairing Andrew Watson and Ross Wylie.
“Donington has always been a track I enjoy racing at and the GP circuit is a great place to end the British GT season”, said the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Ooredoo, National Bank of Oman and Al Hashar Group-backed racer, “It’s very close in the Silver Cup, we have the lead going into Donington which is obviously where we want to be – but anything can happen in GT racing.
“I’m looking forward to racing with Alex again, we worked very well together at Snetterton and nearly came away with a win which would have been incredible. In the end it didn’t work out that way, but we’re confident we can produce another very competitive showing this weekend.”
Donington Park certainly holds happy memories for Ahmad and the Oman Racing Team – during the corresponding fixture last year the squad secured a history-making championship success to become the first Omani entrant to win the title. In the driver standings, Ahmad and then team-mate Michael Caine only missed out on the overall championship by 10.5 points.
This time around, while the outright GT3 title itself isn’t in reach, in the entrant standings the Oman Racing Team holds second position going into the grand finale and is within just 11 points of the top of the table. Retaining the team’s championship is very much a possibility.
“Last year was something very special for the Oman Racing Team and everyone who has supported my career from day one”, said Aston Martin Middle East and North Africa ambassador Ahmad, “We’re so determined to win the Silver Cup but the team championship is just as important, if we can retain that title it will be a weekend of huge celebrations.”
Following two free practice sessions on Saturday, 12th September, qualifying for the final round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship will get underway at 15.30 (UK time). On Sunday, 13th September, round nine will get underway at 13.00 (UK time) and will be screened live on Motors TV.
Provisional 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT3 Driver Standings: 7th Ahmad Al Harthy, 54pts
Provisional 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT3 Silver Cup: 1st Ahmad Al Harthy, 103pts
Provisional 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT3 Team Standings: 2nd Oman Racing Team, 189.5pts