(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The Oman Racing Team (ORT) duo of Ahmad al Harthy and Michael Caine will begin round nine of the 2014 British GT Championship season at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent UK from a competitive third position on the grid after an excellent run in qualifying on Saturday.
On combined times from the crucial grid-determining sessions at the Kent track the ORT pairing qualified a mere 0.007 seconds shy of the front row of the grid for the 120-minute race which would be the penultimate round of the season.
British driver Caine piloted the No 4 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in qualifying round one and produced a best lap time of 1m26.352s at the wheel of the car. Requirin a good qualifying performance 32 year old Ahmad rose to the challenge and delivered an impressive lap of 1m26.533s to top off his session - less than 0.2 seconds outside Caine's benchmark.
Giving the ORT members an opportunity to add to their 2014 podium tally and challenge for their third victory of the campaign a smooth start to round nine will be crucial as Ahmad and Caine seek to finish up front.
'I'm really delighted [with third place on the grid]' said Ahmad 'Personally my performance was really strong and to get within two tenths of Michael's time in qualifying was great. We kept moving forward through the practice sessions and we always knew with the weight we have to carry it was going to be very tough for Michael in his session with the most competitive drivers.
The Muscatbased racer added 'Michael's time was very positive and we knew we had a strong car. The pressure was on me to bring the gap down on the combined lap times and to get so close to Michael's pace was a great feeling especially having been out of the car for so long. Starting in third position for the race is a positive start. We just need to focus on the race and stay out of trouble.'
Ahead of the two-hour Brands Hatch contest Ahmad and Caine are fourth in the championship standings with a tally of three podium finishes so far this year. In the team standings ORT is currently in second place