|Ahmad Al Harthy with the Oman Air Racing team
Revealed at an official press conference held at the Muscat Intercontinental Hotel in Oman this morning (21 February), the 30-year-old racing driver detailed a continuation of Oman Air as title sponsor for 2012 as part of a truly prestigious and wide-ranging commercial portfolio.
Ahmad will return to compete in the Pro-Am 1 Class of the UK’s premier one-make sportscar championship this year, having finished the 2011 season a fantastic third overall in the standings with 12 podiums from 19 races – including two Pro-Am 1 wins. As for the past two seasons, the Oman Air Racing Team car will be prepared and maintained by Redline Racing.
Since the conclusion of last year’s Carrera Cup GB campaign, the Muscat sportsman has continued to compete with selected outings in the burgeoning Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East series.
From six races contested, Ahmad chalked-up a tally of three podiums with the highlight being a superb lights-to-flag victory during the FIA Formula One World Championship support race at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi last November. He also won on his debut in the NGK UAE GT Championship at Dubai Autodrome, partnering double Carrera Cup GB champion James Sutton.
“It’s incredible we’re returning to Carrera Cup GB”, said Al Harthy. “It’s one of the best motor racing championships in the world and it’s a huge honour to continue promoting Oman, and everything the country has to offer, through my racing on such a prestigious stage. I’m delighted too, of course, to have the continued support of so many incredible sponsors – it’s amazing.
“Retaining title sponsorship from Oman Air is fantastic and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the airline, as well as to my other incredible partners – the Ministry of Sports Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, Nawras and National Bank of Oman. We are also extremely fortunate in being able to welcome a new partner for 2012, Muscat Eye Laser Centre, which is very exciting.”
He added: “We had an amazing season last year in Pro-Am 1 and we’re aiming for even more podiums and wins this year. Being with Redline Racing for a third season was never a doubt, the guys there are the best in the business and always do a perfect job. With the extra experience from racing in the GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East I’m confident we can have a great season back in the UK.”
The GT3 Cup Challenge GB was launched at the Autosport International show back in January. Here is Porsche's own video explaining about the new series.