Al Harthy Delighted To End Season Third In Pro-Am 1‏

Oman Air Racing Team's Ahmad Al Harthy concluded the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Silverstone, Sunday, 16th October, the way he started it six months ago - standing on the Pro-Am 1 podium to finish the season third in the driver standings.Rounding off a truly memorable campaign with his 12th podium of the year, having finished third in Pro-Am 1 during the 19th and final round, the 30-year-old ends his second season driving a Porsche 911 thrilled with the progress he has made, having taken two wins along the way."We started the season on the podium and wanted to end it on the podium and we have, I'm absolutely delighted for the whole Oman Air Racing Team", said Ahmad, "All the hard work has paid off, thank you so much to all of my incredible sponsors - Oman Air, Nawras, National Bank of Oman, Brand Oman, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Ministry of Tourism."I also want to say a special thank you to His Excellency Eng. Ali Al Sunaidy from the Ministry of Sports Affairs, he has believed in my programme from the outset. His incredibly strong support has been instrumental in the success we've enjoyed so far. It's such an honour for me."He added: "At the beginning of the year we talked about the need to be consistent, to keep finishing on the podium as much as possible, and I've delivered on that. It's been an amazing season from start to end - I really don't know where to begin thanking people, my family, my supporters from Oman who flew in to be here at Silverstone this weekend. I'm so grateful to everyone."Starting the final round from third in Pro-Am 1, Ahmad held position comfortably and soaked up early pressure from class rival George Richardson. On lap six though, at Brooklands, a multi-car incident occurred just ahead and the Omani racer profited by emerging second in Pro-Am 1.Ahmad had to yield the position just prior to mid-distance but remained close behind Richardson for the remainder of the 28 lap encounter. Initially having to be wary of the approaching Michael Leonard, Ahmad managed to pull away substantially during the final third of the race and also closed back up onto the tail of Richardson's car - at the chequered flag just 0.2 seconds separated them.During this morning's opening race, round 18, he had to settle for fourth in Pro-Am 1 after being forced to go to the outside for Copse corner on lap one and then being bundled down the order to sixth in class.

Moving up into fifth on lap three at the expense of Karl Leonard, he was then held up badly by Derek Pierce for a number of laps costing him a lot of time. Piling on the pressure, Ahmad managed to get by on lap 20 after sustained attempts to overtake and with Pierce's defence having allowed the cars ahead to pull out a large gap, it was impossible for Ahmad to close them down in the remaining laps."The races today were challenging", said Ahmad, "In the first one, fourth wasn't what we deserved at all but finishing third in the last race was more like it. Unfortunately we got stuck behind Derek (Pierce) for too long in race one but I'm happy overall, a great end to a great season."As at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, Ahmad once again competed this weekend in support of the Omani National Association for Cancer Awareness - promoting the organisation's Cancer Awareness 'Walkathon' which takes place in the Al Khuwair area of Oman on Tuesday, 25th October.Final 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship 'Pro-Am 1' Standings:CHAMPION: Jonas Gelzinis, 194pts; 2nd Rory Butcher, 105pts; 3rd Ahmad Al Harthy, 97pts