Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine left Oulton Park with the lead of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship on the back of an opening weekend that began with a lights-to-flag victory in the first of the meeting’s two hour long races.
In the first UK race for the Oman Racing Team entered Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Al Harthy won the pole position for the season opener and moved into the lead of the race from the rolling start and going on to build a comfortable lead before handing the controls over to Caine as the safety car came out to allow retrieval of a stricken GT4 car.
Caine returned to the track still in the lead and, after fending off a brief challenge from the soon to be penalised Luke Hines in the #888 BMW went on to record a third British GT win for he and Al Harthy.
“It was a perfect start and I made a nice gap between me and the other cars,” said Al Harthy. “It was a matter of putting my head down and carrying on. I gave the car to Michael with a healthy lead. Unfortunately the safety car came out and our lead was really reduced. Luckily we stayed in front and obviously for the last 25 minutes watching Michael was very stressful, but there’s no one better you’d want in the car. You know his consistency is strong and he is reliable.”
The pair then took seventh place from a second race that featured two safety car periods, the seconds after the two leaders crashed out of the race.
Rory Butcher and John Hartshorne, sharing the second of the Motorbase Performance run team’s cars came away with 20th and 15th placed finishes in the races in their first weekend together with Butcher among the fastest drivers during Saturday’s practice sessions.