(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Omani racer Ahmad al Harthy will begin the fourth round of the 2014 British GT Championship - the three-hour Silverstone 500 race - from the second row of the grid after a positive performance in qualifying at the Northamptonshire track in the UK on Saturday.
The Oman Racing Team (ORT) car posted the fourth fastest lap on combined times from two sessions - one with the Omani racer at the wheel of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, and the other featuring his teammate Michael Caine.
The eventual joint time of 4m07.289s helped the duo finish just 0.009 seconds ahead of the BMW Z4 GT3 of Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne. Fastest laps in the respective halves of the qualifying session gave the Beechdean AMR pair of Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam pole position.
The two drivers' times resulted in a total time of 4m05.155s, which is over a second faster than the total accrued by Rockingham polesitters and championship leader Ecurie Ecosse. ''I am happy with our performance in qualifying, we are in a very good position to start this long race,'' Ahmad said. ''There was a lot of traffic, but we managed to find a clear lap and we are pleased with the fourth fastest finish. You have to be careful here, it is easy to make a mistake or get caught up with other cars, but we are feeling positive for the race.''
Ahmad added, ''Since we are starting near the front, we have to make sure we capitalise on that. It is a very long race with three pit-stops. So, Michael and I will do two stints each. We need to stay focussed.'' During the earlier practice sessions on Saturday, the Motorbase Performance-led squad began the event well, posting the sixth fastest time during the opening 60-minute period.
In session two, some necessary work on race set-up continued and a top-12 finish showed ORT was shaping up well for the race. ORT is currently fourth in the entrant standings with Ahmad and Caine jointly in fourth place in the drivers' contest.
The British GT season started in April with a round one victory for ORT at Oulton Park and Ahmad is determined to make a podium finish on the Silverstone Grand Prix layout.
The Muscat-based racer said, ''It would be fantastic to finish on the podium, but our main aim is always the championship. So, we need to score as many points as we can. We are confident we have a strong set-up and the team is working well