Oman: Ahmad Al Harthy announces new 2018 season in Blancpain Endurance Cup

Oman: Ahmad Al Harthy announces new 2018 season in Blancpain Endurance Cup

Oman, March 5th – Ahmad Al Harthy, the reigning Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am Champion, officially launched his and the Oman Racing Team’s 2018 motor racing programme at the Barr Al Jissah resort in Muscat this morning, Monday, 5th March.

Returning to the world’s biggest GT endurance racing championship for a sixth season, the Muscat sportsman will compete in the new Silver Cup class – his driver grading having been changed from Bronze to Silver following last year’s title win – with his trusty Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 car.

Oman Racing’s entry will once again be engineered and prepared by British squad TF Sport, with a three driver line-up confirmed for the new campaign. Joining Al Harthy will be Euan McKay, who contested one event with Oman Racing last year, and team newcomer Charlie Eastwood.

Officially confirming his 2018 plans in front of gathered dignitaries earlier today in the Sultanate’s capital, Al Harthy said: “We come into 2018 off the back of an absolutely incredible season last year for Oman Racing. To win the Pro-Am championship in Blancpain was a dream come true, especially in the 10th anniversary year of Oman Racing. It was the culmination of so much hard work.

“Now we have an exciting new challenge awaiting us this year and it’s one we’re all very much looking forward to. As ever, the level of competition is going to be extremely high and the Silver Cup will be a very closely contested championship. It’s important for me to continue to progress, so racing in the Silver Cup is another step-up made possible by my incredible partners.”

Having been partnered by Aston Martin ‘works’ driver Jonny Adam to the memorable Pro-Am championship triumph last year, the next chapter of Al Harthy’s Blancpain career now opens with two new team-mates.

Euan McKay and Charlie Eastwood both make the move into full-time GT endurance racing from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship, where Al Harthy himself was Pro-Am1 Champion in 2012. While McKay isn’t completely new to the Oman Racing team, he competed with the squad in the Gulf 12 Hours in December, Eastwood – the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion – debuts.

“Euan obviously raced with the team in the Gulf 12 Hours last year and he did a fantastic job on our way to a podium finish, so it’s wonderful he is with us for the full season in Blancpain”, added Al Harthy, “Charlie more than proved his talent in Porsche Carrera Cup GB, so I’m really looking forward to racing with him. I think we have a very strong, competitive and exciting driver line-up.”

Prestigious sponsor portfolio unchanged for 2018 season
At Barr Al Jissah today, Al Harthy revealed an unchanged portfolio of prestigious sponsors for the 2018 season, spearheaded by the Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Air – the latter entering its landmark 10th year of partnership with the Muscat racing driver.

Also remaining a key part of Al Harthy’s motorsport programme will be the National Bank of Oman, Omantel, Barr Al Jissah and Amouage, all confirmation of the tremendous commercial value which supporting the Sultanate’s number one racing driver brings.

Commenting on Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs’ continued partnership with Al Harthy, Fahad Al Raisi, Director General of Sports Development at the Ministry, said: “Once more we are very proud to offer key support to Ahmad and Oman Racing, especially after such an amazing season last year. Our long-standing partnership has been very beneficial for all involved and we’re extremely happy to extend our support as Ahmad again flies the flag for Oman.”

On behalf of Oman Air, Usama Karim Al Haremi, Head of Corporate Communications and Media, commented: “We are proud to say 2018 marks the 10th year Oman Air has been an integral part of Ahmad’s motorsport programme. He is an incredible ambassador for our brand and winning the Pro-Am title last year was a fantastic achievement. Once again we will work together to promote Oman as a key destination for tourists and business travellers from all over our network, while also working closely to invest in the future of Oman.”

National Bank of Oman’s John Chang, General Manager and Chief Retail Officer, said: “We are proud to be extending our partnership with Ahmad for another year and continuing to build on our nine-year long relationship. Ahmad has played an instrumental role in championing the aspirations of youth and, together, we hope to inspire generations to follow their dreams and lead with values of integrity, passion, discipline, perseverance, responsibility and corporate citizenship. We had a successful 2017 and cannot wait for the new season to begin.”

Speaking on behalf of Omantel, Said Salim Al Shanfari, General Manager Marketing Communications and Performance, said: “We are pleased to renew our partnership with the national racing champion Ahmad Al Harthy. Omantel has always been in support of Omani talents and we take great pride to see him shining in this kind of championship.”

Firas Matraji, CEO from Barr Al Jissah, added: “Once again we are extremely proud to be the host venue for the official launch of Ahmad’s racing programme for the coming season, it’s incredibly exciting to continue our partnership after such a successful year last year with the championship victory. We both share a very strong desire to promote all Oman has to offer, for business and tourism.”

Luxury niche fragrance house Amouage remains a key sponsor for a second season. David Crickmore, CEO, commented: “What a year 2017 was, our first as an official partner of Ahmad Al Harthy and Oman Racing. Our sponsorship of Ahmad enables us to provide our major clients the exclusive opportunity of experiencing the buzz and adrenaline rush of international motor racing at first hand. We’re delighted to continue our support of Ahmad into 2018 and we wish him and Oman Racing every success – we hope he returns home again as the champion of the series.”

Oman Racing will travel to Paul Ricard in France next week for the official pre-season Blancpain Endurance Cup test days on Tuesday, 13th March, and Wednesday, 14th March. Round one of the new season will then follow over the weekend 21st/22nd April at Monza in Italy.

2018 Blancpain Endurance Cup Calendar
Rd1 Monza, Italy – 21/22 April
Rd2 Silverstone, UK – 19/20 May
Rd3 Paul Ricard, France – 1/2 June
Rd4 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 26/27/28/29 July [Total 24 Hours of Spa]
Rd5 Barcelona, Spain – 29/30 September

Official Pre-Season Test: Paul Ricard, France – 13/14 March
Official Total 24 Hours of Spa Test: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 3 July

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37 minutes ago

MotoGP

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93

mm

46 / 20

46

Rossi!!!

46

Vr45

Vale 46

46

42/46

46

93

46

👏👏

93_42

46💛

46

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1 hr ago

F1

It was an incident-packed second practice under the lights in Singapore 😮

Here are the best bits 🍿 🇸🇬
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Very interesting race weekend. Third practice with the event gear box will be an exciting one ..

That stroll is the best driver tho! 😊

Stroll is my favourite driver

Good job racing point 🥴

Both driver at racing point should have been watching the F1 from tv

Thanks for describing me the video, Mr. Commentary Man. Wouldn't know what to do without you.

Racing point is up to no good this weekend 😂

Both Racing Point drivers showed why they are in F1... money

Racing point... 🤦‍♂️

P3 grazie tutti Matthew Rozdilsky

These guys need to fold that badly.. worst drivers in the field 😖

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WHAT CH IS QUALIFYING AIRED ON!!??? EVER SINCE ESPN TOOK OVER, THEY HAVE SCREWED THE FANS BIG TIME AND IM REALLY GETTING PISSED OFF!! THEY DECIDED TO AIR FP3 INSTEAD OF QUALIFYING!!! HUH!!?? PLEASE HELP ME REMAIN A F1 FAN BY TELLING US WHAT CH QUALIFYING IS AIRED ON? I've been a F1 fan for over 18 years and this season has frustrated THE CRAP out of me and all of my friends. ESPN SUCKS!!

Go Leclerc

Daniel White

Luke Wrench

I don't know why***

Maureen

Stroll it’s a bag of potatoes on wheels! Jizz!

Billy Estropia

Janus Uhd Jepsen det bliver et fedt løb😂

Ferrari boys Franco Ombwayo

Rodrigo Thauam

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2 hrs ago

F1

Getting close to the wall in Singapore has its benefits... but not quite *this* close 👀 ... See Less

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Perez is Magnussen's Kryptonite

The Stewards determined that the manoeuvre by Perez met the definition of driving “unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers” and therefore ordered a reprimand.

Am glad Checo gave Magnussen a dose of one's own medicine!

Bring back memories where perez slammed into Sirotkin.. so talented!

Perez driving slow, looked over, drove deliberately in front of magnussen. Starts his lap. Complains about his own actions. People is saying karma. If this was your precious Hamilton it would have been a different view right? Or max, or leclerc. Yes I thought so.

Love Singapore track, lots of action💪🏁Forza Ferrari🇮🇹

No sane F1 driver, on a warm-up lap, would try to pass another driver also on a warm-up lap on the outside in the run down to the last corner as both cars were about to begin a lap. That's the absolute last thing the driver ahead would anticipate him doing. And for all you geniuses who think that Perez turned into him, he was moving to the right to begin accelerating ahead of the last corner to begin a flying lap. The last corner is a left, so the natural entry line is on the right.

It's not like Kevin is an angel on track. The only reason he has mirrors on his car, is to generate airflow.

Nice to see they implemented a "minimum speed limit on track" after the last races farce. Ooh look, it was the pink cars fault... AGAIN!

Once again Perez being a 🔔🔚 in Singapore! Must be something in the air

Perez wanted room to start a hotlap and Mag did not cede this space, so the touch... If Mag wasn't around fast, you should have facilitated Perez's work!

I won't even bother trying to explain this one, as 99% of the fan base clearly expect the drivers to treat the racetrack like a highway.

Magnussen is probably the first driver in the history of F1 that managed to anger every driver on the grid, says it all tbf what kind of driver he is, like what the hell?😂

These two worth each other, only Grosjean is "better'! 😉 :v

Perez doing great in Singapore putting people in the wall as usual. Slim’s money is the only reason he’s still in a car.

This was all mags fault in my opinion. Checo was just about to start his flying lap for. Qual sim run.

Perez is always doing this even on the last race in Singapore he did that to Ocon

Not a mistake,, deliberate. Perez loves being a d***k. Deserved a Pen

The track was clear on the other side, but he loves sandwiches

Actually is a qualy lap in f1 2019 game start the qualy and that moment a car exit

I swear a lot of you twats don’t even know the rules set by the stewards so you just comment just for the hell of it.

Both pay drivers.....

Small mistake but worth a 3 place penalty

Haas has issues with the car and the drivers.

What is with these Haas guys, consistently getting into trouble with others/each other

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