Middle Eastern racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy sealed his fifth Pro-Am 1 Class victory of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire yesterday afternoon, Saturday, 23rd June, with a typically strong lights-to-flag performance.
Topping Pro-Am 1 in the earlier qualifying session to claim his seventh and eighth pole position starts of the year, the Oman Air Racing Team star went on to control round nine of the championship with a faultless drive to win by just over a second.
Increasing his advantage at the head of the class standings to 34 points, the Muscat 30-year-old was delighted to make a welcome return to the top step of the Pro-Am 1 podium. The result also means his unbroken run of podium finishes in 2012, now standing at nine, continues.
Ahmad made an excellent getaway at the beginning of the race and built a lead of just over a second by the end of lap three. Delivering superbly consistent lap times, without taking any risks, the Omani managed to pull 1.4 seconds clear by two-thirds distance and was never realistically threatened.
Setting his best lap of the race on the eighth tour, a time of 1m24.378 seconds, the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed driver just missed out on the fastest Pro-Am 1 lap by a mere 0.1 seconds.
“We planned everything perfectly in qualifying for the second set of tyres, we knew where we had to improve and it all worked out just as we wanted with the double pole position”, said Ahmad, “We had a great start to the race, it was all about the start really, and I managed to make a good gap.
“Then, it was about being consistent as Croft is a circuit that can really punish you for the smallest mistake. It was important to keep a cool head and keep being very consistent with the lap times to maintain the gap. I’m absolutely delighted with the win – we’ve worked so hard to be back on the top step of the podium and hopefully we can do it all again on Sunday!”
Round 10 of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship – which Ahmad will again start from Pro-Am 1 pole position – will get underway at 13.50 this afternoon, Sunday, 24th June. The race will be screened live in the UK on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and with live streaming online at itv.com/btcc
2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship – Pro-Am1 Driver Standings (after Rd9):1st Ahmad Al Harthy, 85pts