(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman's ace racer Ahmad al Harthy delivered a career-best qualifying performance to secure pole position for the opening round of the 2014 season of the British GT Championship at the Oulton Park International Circuit, UK, on Saturday.
The Oman Racing Team driver posted the quickest lap of 1m36.147s at the 4.33km Cheshire track to finish on top of the 31-car grid in race one for his second pole position in British GT Championship.
Driving his new Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, the 32 year old's quickest lap was over half a second clear of defending champion Andrew Howard of Beechdean AMR (1m36.728s) and Ecurie Ecosse's Marc Attard (1m36.906s).
''It was a bit of a gamble to get some free space on the track and I was happy that I managed to find enough for two laps and put a good time in,'' said Ahmad.
''We didn't have the prime tyres at the right time, but everyone was having problems with the traffic and I just managed to find some space and get those two quick laps, which is most important.
''It was the quickest lap in all throughout the two practice sessions. I am delighted with my pace and the team did a great job with the set-up of the car.''
Ahmad's teammate Michael Caine took over the Motorbase Performance-engineered Aston Martin for the qualifying session of race two and he secured a sixth place on the grid. Caine's fastest lap was a time of 1m35.277s, just 0.3 seconds shy of the second row.
Alexander Sim achieved pole in race two for Ecurie Ecosse after posting the quickest lap in 1m34.044s, followed by Beechdean AMR's Jonny Adam (1m34.335s) and AF Corse's Aaron Scott (1m34.961s).
''We are very happy where Michael qualified in his session,'' said Ahmad. ''Both starting positions, for rounds one and two, are respectable and we have a good chance to begin the championship with some strong results. Reliability will, of course, be important.''
Rounds one and two of the British GT Championship will take place at Oulton Park on Mon