Muscat: Ahmad Al Harthy and the Oman Racing team did the absolute unthinkable during round four of the Blancpain Endurance Cup season in Belgium over the weekend, 27th/28th July, by taking a stunning Pro-Am race victory in the annual Total 24 Hours of Spa – despite having to start from the pitlane!
Marking a huge moment in Oman racer Al Harthy’s glittering career, the remarkable win was his first in the blue riband twice-round-the-clock race and also the maiden class victory for Aston Martin at the endurance classic. Additionally, the huge haul of points scored means Al Harthy now leads the championship standings by an enhanced 16 points with one race remaining.
Partnered by regular Blancpain team-mates Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc, with the addition of Aston Martin factory driver Nicki Thiim to the TF Sport engineered squad for this event, the quartet produced a determined, classy and, most importantly, ultra-competitive performance.
In a race where torrential rain played a huge role, so much so almost six hours were lost during a red flag stoppage on Sunday morning when conditions were deemed too dangerous on the saturated track, the Oman Racing drivers were faultless and the team-work absolutely exceptional.
“Honestly, this is a dream come true – we’ve been waiting for this day since I started racing”, said an overjoyed Al Harthy, “I’m so proud for my country to have achieved this, the most important thing for me is to proudly fly the flag for Oman and to win the Total 24 Hours of Spa, leading at every major points scoring part of the race, is incredible for us and for our championship challenge.
“It’s wonderful to be celebrating this historic win, the first class win at Spa for Aston Martin, in the week when Renaissance Day in Oman has celebrated the 49th year of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said’s reign. I’m so proud of this achievement, the best of my life, and of the unbelievable work of Oman Racing and our partners TF Sport.”
Al Harthy added: “I have had so much incredible support for my entire career from so many partners back home in Oman, and I have to say a special thank you to the National Bank of Oman, Ministry of Sports Affairs, Omantel and Barr Al Jissah for their support again this season. Our dedication, hard work and commitment has made all of this possible, it’s a huge effort from so many people ”