Ahmad Al Harthy continued with his sportscar racing initiation at Paul Ricard with his first non-score of the 2013 season.
The Omani racer partnered veteran Miro Konopka in a Porsche 997 GT3R, and despite putting in some impressive lap times, a driveshaft problem ruined any hopes for points for the ARC Bratislava-NBO Racing Team.
Konopka doubled up to take the opening 120 minutes of the three-hour race, moving up to seventh place before handing over to Al Harthy for the final hour. Konopka returned to the pits early into the race with a rear screen issue, dropping the team down the order but still in with a shot at points.
Just fifteen minutes before Al Harthy’s stint began Konopka was forced to pit again, this time with driveshaft issues, requiring major work in the garage. The team lost approximately 20 minutes in the left, and try as he might Al Harthy could only work his way up to 11th by the time of the chequered flag.
“I really learnt a lot this weekend, despite all the difficulties”, said the reigning Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am1 Champion. “When I took over the car for the final stint, it was more of a test session than anything due to the amount of time we lost with the driveshaft.
“Honestly though, the team did an amazing job to get the car back out in just 20 minutes. We’re all disappointed we couldn’t score points, but this year is all about developing my experience and I was very happy with my pace. It’s so important to get as much track time as I can, especially on my first time at a very challenging circuit like Paul Ricard, so with that in mind we take many positives away.”