Al Harthy Earns Double Pro-Am 1 Pole At Tricky Thruxton
By staff - Sun Apr 29, 4:19 am
Oman Air Racing Team star Ahmad Al Harthy completely dominated the Pro-Am 1 class during qualifying for rounds five and six of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at a rain-affected Thruxton this afternoon, Saturday, 28th April, to secure yet another double pole position.
In a session which started with a wet track but dried enough for slick tyres to be used during the last few minutes, the 30-year-old from Muscat produced a sensational performance and was head and shoulders above the Pro-Am 1 competition throughout as he made it six poles from six.
Starting out with a clear advantage on wet tyres, Ahmad switched to slicks with just three minutes of the half-hour session remaining – the optimum time, as it turned out – and remained the Pro-Am 1 driver to beat with a quickest lap of 1m20.819 seconds (104.94mph) sealing the round five pole slot.
His second best time, which actually came on his first flying lap of the session when the track was at its wettest, was so strong it remained good enough for the round six pole to the finish – a time of 1m22.208 seconds.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge coming to Thruxton but we never thought it would be this hard, everything tested our limits today”, said the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Nawras, National Bank of Oman and Muscat Eye Laser Centre-backed racer.
“I went out with a wet set-up and wet tyres on at the start and when I came in for the pit-stop midway through, I was delighted with the performance I’d achieved to that point. We knew the track was getting quicker and the key was to get the timing right for when to go back out.
“We actually went again with the wets first, as the track still wasn’t ready for slicks, and when I did pit for the slicks the team did an amazing job – honestly, it was like an F1 pit-stop! We were in and out so fast and managed to have two laps on the slicks, one lap to get them up to temperature and then one to make sure of a good time. Two pole position starts is exactly where we want to be.”
With rain expected to play a major role in both of this weekend’s races, Ahmad will need to draw on all of his experience to try and maintain his Pro-Am 1 championship lead. Even though he delivered a superb performance today, the Omani is keen to stress the key role played by his team.
“Today was team-work at its best, if it wasn’t for the guys and their quick pit-stops we wouldn’t have been out there at exactly the right time on the slicks”, he added, “I must say a huge thank you to all of the guys for their unbelievable work, hopefully tomorrow we’ll have great results in both races.”
Round five of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship will get underway at 12.20 tomorrow, Sunday, 29th April