Oman’s Ahmad Al Harthy mastered treacherous conditions at the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit on Sunday, 29th April to claim his third and fourth Pro-Am 1 victories of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship – and with it more than double his class lead to a substantial 31 points.
Having dominated Pro-Am 1 in qualifying with a brace of clear pole position starts for both of the weekend’s races, the Oman Air Racing Team ace achieved his second winning double in as many race meetings with two faultless drives.
Conditions at the 2.36-mile Hampshire track couldn’t have been more challenging, persistent rainfall and strong winds making for a very difficult third event of the season. Renowned as a wet-weather specialist throughout his motorsport career though, Ahmad was truly in a league of his own.
“Donington was amazing but this is even better, perfect!”, said the 30-year-old after race two, “To win required a lot more than the wins at Donington , I don’t think we’ve ever done this before – to drive a completely wet track on slicks. The amount of concentration needed was huge, the rain was coming, then it stopped, then the rain came again and you just didn’t know how hard to push.
“We pushed though, all weekend, and the team did a really great job for me. The car was amazing, we ran on wets in race one but before race two we took a last minute decision to go with slicks, it was a risk but you have to take these risks at this level of racing and competition. I’m so delighted to have won both races.”
Officials opted to begin round five under Safety Car conditions due to significant rainfall and a very wet surface so racing proper didn’t get underway until lap four. When it did the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed racer made no mistakes and delivered a textbook drive.
Leading Pro-Am 1 by a country mile throughout, Ahmad dominated the class to win by more than 20 seconds and he also posted the fastest lap of 1m22.419 seconds (102.90mph) to underline the level of his performance.
In round six, the decision to go with slick tyres did pay off despite the track being massively slippery and a major challenge for all of the championship’s front-runners. Once again, Ahmad retained the lead of Pro-Am 1 throughout and even when more rainfall increased the risk and the intensity of the task at hand, he handled it all superbly. This time, the winning margin was almost half a minute.
There is now a six week break in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship calendar with rounds seven and eight of the 2012 season set to take place over the weekend 9th/10th June at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire.
2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship – Pro-Am1 Driver Standings (after Rd6):1st Ahmad Al Harthy, 61pts