10.11.2011: ....but wants quick improvement in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Omani rises to Porsche GT3 Cup challenge on F1 weekend
....but wants quick improvement in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East
Omani rises to Porsche GT3 Cup challenge on F1 weekend
Ahmad Al Harthy was delighted with his debut display in the Porsche GT3 Cup series in Dubai
Oman’s Ahmad Al Harthy aims to rise to the occasion on Formula One weekend in Abu Dhabi to confirm his status as a genuine title contender in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
After an encouraging debut in the Porsche one-make series at Dubai Autodrome last weekend, Al Harthy is looking for an immediate improvement in Rounds 3-4 taking place at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday and Sunday.
He will soak up the special atmosphere surrounding the 2011 Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and target two more podium finishes on the race support programme spread over two action-packed days in the UAE capital.
“I was delighted with our performance in Dubai,” said Al Harthy, who followed up his fifth place in Round 1 with third position 24 hours later, and also partnered British driver James Sutton to victory in the first of the new one-hour endurance races.
“My race pace was good, and there were so many positives for the team. At the same time, we know we can improve, especially as we had two full days of testing at Yas Marina Circuit last week and are well prepared for this weekend.”
Al Harthy knows he faces a difficult task to close the gap on the three drivers ahead of him in the championship, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal and Bandar Alesayi, and Belgian driver Stephane Lemeret of Dubai-based Al Nabooda Racing.
But he believes that, with more track time behind the wheel of his brand new 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car, he can mount a serious challenge in the title battle.
“I’m very happy to be in the series in the first place, and it’s everything I expected,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent, the front runners are very professional, and the first year for me will be a massive learning curve.
“But I’m determined to get the results as well, and I know I’ll get better with more track time behind me.”
Al Harthy has raced on an F1 weekend twice before, in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, and is relishing the experience once more. “It’s the biggest event in motor sport and it definitely makes an impact on you as a driver, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Once I get behind the wheel, though, I’ll adopt my normal approach.”
The Oman driver is relishing the special Formula One atmosphere in Abu Dhabi.
The Porsche GT3 Cup drivers get their first action at Yas Marina Circuit during a 30-minute Friday morning (9.30am) practice session.
They then line-up on Saturday morning (9.50am) for qualifying to decide the starting grid for Round 3 in the championship getting under way the same afternoon (12.45pm), and Round 4 following on Sunday (12.10pm).
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