Al Harthy aims to end season on a high

Al Harthy aims to end season on a high
Ahmad Al Harthy is focused on signing-off his maiden campaign in the Blancpain Endurance Series on a high at the world-famous Nurburgring this weekend, 21st/22nd September, when the pan-European championship reaches its conclusion with a six-hour spectacular.

Just over a week since claiming his second outright win of the year in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Zandvoort in The Netherlands, the 32-year-old Omani has high hopes of continuing his excellent momentum by battling for Blancpain GTR Class success in Germany.

The ‘Blancpain 1000’, so called due to the 1,000-kilometre distance which is covered during the six hour duration, is another fresh challenge for the ARC Bratislava-NBO Racing Team driver in a season which has exceeded all expectation.

Making the switch from sprint racing at the beginning of 2013, having sealed the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship Pro-Am 1 title last year, Ahmad has enjoyed an exceptional debut campaign in endurance racing and is focused on a memorable end to the Blancpain season a few days from now.

“I really can’t believe the Blancpain season is almost over already”, said the National Bank of Oman, Nawras, Oman Ministry of Tourism and Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs-backed driver, “It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience up to now and everyone at the NBO Racing Team is committed to ending the season on a real high.

“There are so many fantastic drivers and teams in Blancpain, it’s so competitive and the grids are absolutely huge so it has been a big learning curve. To have already been on the top step of the GTR podium this year is more than we expected, the aim now is to try and repeat that at the Nurburgring at the weekend. It’s going to be an incredibly tough race, but we’re ready and looking forward to it.”

Beginning the Blancpain season back in April at Monza in Italy with eighth in the GTR Class, by rights Ahmad and team-mate Miro Konôpka should have taken home some deserved podium silverware were it not for gearbox problems with their Porsche 997 GT3R.

Moving on to Silverstone in the UK a month later for the championship’s second three-hour race of the season, the NBO Racing Team took a superb GTR victory after two fantastic stints for Ahmad, sandwiching a strong one-hour run for Slovakian racer Konôpka.

Since then, unfortunately, the team has been hit by issues out of its control – firstly a driveshaft problem during round three at Paul Ricard in France and then contact from a rival in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, resulting in a bitterly disappointing retirement from the biggest race of the year.

Despite missing out on vital points in recent events, the NBO Racing Team is fifth in the GTR Class standings and can still end the campaign inside the top three. In the GTR driver standings, Ahmad and Konôpka are in 10th position.