(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Omani racer Ahmad al Harthy and his Oman Racing Team (ORT) celebrated their second victory of the 2014 British GT Championship on Sunday after a dominant performance in the season's toughest race - the Silverstone 500 - in Northamptonshire, UK.
Holding their nerve in the challenging three-hour encounter at the Silverstone GP circuit, Ahmad and his British teammate Michael Caine both delivered fine stints in their Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 to win with a neat 56-second cushion. The Beechdean AMR pair of Jonny Adam and Andrew Howard finished second. Ecurie Ecosse's Marco Attard and Alexander Sims took third place.
''Of all the races in the British GT, this is the one you want to win,'' Ahmad said after the win. ''It is the highlight of the year; the longest and toughest race. I am delighted with my own performance. Michael did a fantastic job and the car was incredible. To win at this level, you need everything to be perfect - and for us, it was.''
The Muscat-based racer added, ''I am proud to see the Omani flag up on the top step of the podium again. We had some great support at Silverstone this weekend. To take our second win of the year is incredible.''
Qualifying fourth fastest, Ahmad took the opening stint and swiftly moved into the top two in the opening lap before taking the lead in lap eight following a mistake from the Beechdean Aston Martin of Howard. After the safety car was deployed several laps later, Ahmad pitted to hand over the car to Caine.
Running in fourth position when the action resumed, Caine quickly climbed back up the order, and within the space of three laps, he was into second place. Moving into the lead in lap 21, the British racer pressed on and built a substantial advantage before pitting at the 90-minute mark to hand the Aston Martin back to Ahmad.
Emerging from the pits in fifth position, the 32 year old Omani racer didn't waste any time, and as the second round of stops were completed, the ORT car was back into the lead with a significant 40-second cushion. Pitting in lap 66 for the final driver-change with 35 minutes of the race remaining, Caine climbed from third to second and then moved back to the front with under half an hour left. He then pulled clear during the final phase of the contest to win comfortably.
Caine said, ''It's not often that you get in a car with 40 minutes to go in the race and be told that you have a 48-second lead. It shows that our team did fantastic at the pits.'' The Silverstone victory has helped Ahmad and Caine move back into the top three in the British GT Championship title race.
They are a couple of points shy of second place and only 4.5 points adrift of the top of the standings. Next on the British GT calendar is a visit to the Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk on June 21-22 for rounds five and s