Ahmad Al Harthy took a class podium during the opening rounds of the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship. Running under the Redline Oman Air banner, the 29 year old also took a top five class finish to leave Brands Hatch third in the Pro-Am1 championship standings.
Starting fourth in class for race one, a great start saw him move into second by the time the pack were around the first corner, before snatching the lead one corner later. He held the Pro-Am1 lead for the opening few laps before a strong move from Rory Butcher saw the Omani driver slip to second. Desperate not to lose another spot, he defended well to hold back Jonas Gelzinis and end the race second in class, ninth overall.
Al Harthy said: “Qualifying didn't go as planned, but we knew fourth place was a solid place to start from, and then our race pace worked out perfectly. I had such a strong start I was leading Pro-Am 1 by turn two and then we kept our pace well.
“I had to be sensible and give the position away at the start of lap six though otherwise (Rory) Butcher and I would probably have made contact. Then I had a lot of pressure behind from (Jonas) Gelzinis but I managed to push the gap later on, I was very pleased with my race pace.”
He started race two fourth in class once again but this time didn't enjoy a great first lap. Contact between class rivals Butcher and Alex Martin ahead of him ended with Butcher hitting the side of Al Harthy's car, pitching him into a spin. The contact forced him to pit for a wheel change, leaving him a lap down and unable to make any places up. He ended the race twentieth overall, fifth in class.
Reflecting on the race, he added: “Obviously it's very disappointing today's race wasn't as good as Saturday's but this is motor racing, sometimes things happen which you can't control and that happened today. I'd made a good start, everything seemed fine, and then out of nowhere I was hit heavily.
“Overall though we have to be very satisfied with the weekend, it's been a great start with the second place in race one and I am pleased I was able to finish fifth today to add more points to my total. It's so important to score whatever you can when things don't work out so well, so we have a lot of positives to take away.
“I have to say a big thank you to all of my sponsors for getting us here – Oman Air, Nawras, National Bank of Oman, Brand Oman and the Ministry of Sports Affairs and Ministry of Tourism. This is a fantastic start to the season for all of us.”