Ahmad Al Harthy suffered a premature end to his debut in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Silverstone, with a timing belt failure forcing him to retire on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix support race.

The Omani racer was one of seven drivers from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB seires to make a guest appearance in the Supercup race and qualified 21st on the grid in his Oman Air Racing Team run Porsche.

A good start saw the 29 year old gain three places, but a loss of power steering in the opening couple of turns, plus a rise in engine temperature, meant the race was soon over for the Oman Air, Nawras, National Bank of Oman, Brand Oman, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Ministry of Tourism-backed driver.

He nursed the car back to the pits to retire, leaving him disappointed to have such a mechanical failure at his biggest meeting of the year. He remained positive though, happy with his performance during his first outing on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

Al Harthy said: “It's incredibly disappointing for the weekend to have ended how it did and so early in the race too, but that's the sport we're in – these things happen in motor racing and you have to accept it.  improved a lot over the weekend so I'm very positive about that, our pace was good and we knew where to find much more lap time in the race.

“I made a good start, gained three places and held my position well but then I felt the steering go and I knew it was a bad sign. The temperatures then hit the roof so I just coaxed the car back to the pits. It's the first mechanical failure I've had in a very long time so I can't complain. It's just a shame for the whole team and the sponsors we weren't able to come away with the result they deserved.”