Spa Podiums The Target For Aston Martin Racer Al Harthy

Multiple Avon Tyres British GT Championship race winner Ahmad Al Harthy returns to action with the Oman Racing Team this weekend, Friday, 11th July, and Saturday, 12th July, when the category visits Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for rounds seven and eight of the season.Heading to the world-famous Grand Prix venue, along with team-mate Michael Caine, fourth in the title standings with two victories so far in 2014, the 32-year-old from Muscat is aiming for a podium return after missing out on more silverware last month at Snetterton in the UK.As well as forming a pivotal point of the British GT season, the last double-header of the campaign, the visit to Belgium will also provide essential track time at Spa for the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 drivers ahead of the Blancpain Endurance Series’ blue riband Total 24 Hours of Spa later in July.“We’re going into a really big weekend, not just for the British championship but for the experience we’ll be able to gain before the 24 Hour race in a few weeks”, said Ahmad, “Spa is such an amazing track, it has so much history and is an incredible challenge for any driver – it’s definitely one of the highlights of the British GT season.“Snetterton wasn’t the best weekend for us, although we did at least take some points away, so the aim at Spa is to be back where we were at Silverstone when we won the big Silverstone 500 race. I’m really looking forward the weekend, the track should be well suited to our Aston Martin so we’ve got plenty of confidence as always and we’re focused on producing the best performance we can.”In terms of the championship battle, the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Al Hashar Group/Aston Martin Oman-backed duo are currently a mere 0.5 points shy of the series top three but 31 points away from the lead. Two strong results at Spa this Saturday are, therefore, essential for Ahmad and Caine in the title fight.“It’s very important to score as heavily as we can, we need to make up as much ground as possible in the championship but it obviously won’t be easy – racing at this level never is as there are some incredible drivers and teams in British GT”, added the Omani, “We know what we’re all capable of, though, we have a fantastic team and an amazing car in the Aston Martin.”For this coming Saturday’s two one-hour races, a boosted entry of almost 40 cars is expected with competitors from European competition joining the British GT regulars. Healthy crowds are also expected at Spa with free general circuit access to spectators on both Friday and Saturday.Following two one-hour practice sessions on Friday, 11th July, qualifying will get underway at 15.50 (local time). Both races are then scheduled for Saturday, 12th July, with round seven beginning at 09.15 (local time) and round eight set to commence at 13.50 (local time).Provisional 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Driver Standings (after Rd6):4th Ahmad Al Harthy & Michael Caine, 74ptsProvisional 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship Team Standings (after Rd6):3rd Oman Racing Team, 77pts