(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) ARC Bratislava-NBO Racing Team's driver Ahmad al Harthy will begin the fifth and final round of the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series, the Nurburgring 1000 race in Germany, from sixth position in the GTR class after having put up a strong performance in Saturday's qualifying.
The 32 year old Omani produced a best lap time of 1m58.625s at the wheel of the team's Porsche 997 GT3R. The outcome is an improvement by almost half a second on his quickest effort from the earlier pre-qualifying period.
Going into the last race of the Blancpain Series campaign, which is a tricky and challenging six-hour encounter, Ahmad and his Slovakian teammate Miro Konopka are in the top ten of the GTR class drivers' standings. In the teams' title race, the NBO Racing Team holds fifth position.
Although he has competed at the Nurburgring before, this race is Ahmad's first ever attempt on the full Grand Prix configuration of the popular German track.
Despite his lack of experience compared to many of his rivals on the 50-strong grid, Ahmad is confident of a good show in Nurburgring. ''We are reasonably happy with how the qualifying went for us,'' Ahmad said. ''This round is my first time around the entire GP circuit here, so I am pleased with how things have gone during the practice sessions and qualifying. To be sixth fastest in the GTR class, especially with a lot of traffic to contend with, isn't a bad place to begin the race that will last six hours.
''I was compromised slightly on my best lap during qualifying, but it is all about the actual race. I just need to have a good opening stint and stay out of trouble to take things from there. Anything can happen in these races. Hopefully, our car won't have any problems and we can end the season strongly.''
After a couple of disappointing performances in the Blancpain Series - at Paul Ricard in France and the Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium - the Omani racer and his outfit are desperate to make a return to the GTR points for the first time since claiming a victory in their class at Silverstone, UK in June.