GT: Oman endurance racer Al Harthy announces 2014 Aston Martin switch
Saturday, 15th March 2014-Omani sporting star Ahmad Al Harthy is delighted to announce he will embark on a second year of endurance racing in 2014 with the Motorbase Performance team after today, Saturday, 15th March, also confirming he will drive an Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 during the new motorsport season.
While the 32-year-old’s full championship plans for the coming year and portfolio of sponsors will be revealed at a special press conference within the next week or so, the Muscat driver is overjoyed to be able to confirm his new affiliation with Aston Martin Racing ahead of the official presentation.
“This is a huge announcement for me, I am absolutely thrilled to be racing an Aston Martin this year and to continue the fantastic relationship with everyone at Motorbase”, said Ahmad, “Last year was incredibly enjoyable, and quite successful too, but we really feel we are moving things up a gear this season by switching to Aston Martin.
“The Vantage GT3 is an amazing car, incredible to drive, very comfortable and the performance is superb. I had my first run in the car at Brands Hatch in the UK in early December, then we were in Portimao a few weeks ago for an exclusive Aston Martin test – we had some useful night running there. Last week we were at Paul Ricard for two more days, testing has been really great so far.”
Motorbase, of course, was the team behind Ahmad’s successful maiden season of endurance based sportscar racing in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship last year. Teaming with 2012 British GT Champion Michael Caine, the rapid duo impressed at the wheel of a Porsche 997 GT3R and claimed two race victories en-route to ending the season fifth in the overall standings.
Prior to his graduation into the world of endurance competition last year, Ahmad won the Pro-Am 1 title in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship in 2012 – the perfect culmination to a three year tenure in the category, during which he chalked-up 14 class wins and a total of 34 class podiums.
The move to Aston Martin power for 2014 marks the start of a very exciting new challenge for both Ahmad and the Motorbase squad, with team principal David Bartrum relishing the opportunity to build on the successes the partnership enjoyed last season.
“It really is fantastic Ahmad has chosen to continue racing with us at Motorbase this year, we built a great working relationship in British GT last season”, said Bartrum, “I was seriously impressed with the level of performance in his first season in GT and he’ll undoubtedly be even stronger this year.
“The move to Aston Martin marks the start of a great new challenge for Motorbase, the Vantage is an extremely competitive car and we’re confident we can hit the ground running. It’s obviously a big change for Ahmad too, after several years racing Porsches, but testing so far has been very positive.”
John Gaw, team principal at Aston Martin Racing, is equally pleased to see Ahmad piloting one of the British marque’s cars in 2014. He added: “Ahmad has proven himself to be a very competitive GT driver and we are therefore delighted to have him in an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 this year.
“We have had great success with the car and it is the perfect move for Ahmad as he continues his progression. We will be at each of his races providing full support and look forward to working with Ahmad and the Oman Racing Team.”