(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Ahmad al Harthy, Oman's top racer, and his Oman Racing Team struck a positive note ahead of the 2014 British GT Championship after finishing in the overall top-ten during pre-season testing and Media Day at the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit in the UK on Tuesday.
Around 30 cars took part in the afternoon's two outings, with Ahmad driving his new Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3. After lapping fifth fastest in the opening session, with a best time of 1m30.799s, the Oman Racing Team car - which Ahmad shares with 2013 teammate Michael Caine - registered an improved lap of 1m29.981s in the second session, ending the day in tenth overall.
The 32 year old Ahmad said he was happy with the performance, adding that the focus of the test was to 'gain understanding' of the new car in preparation for the first two races of the season later this month. ''It was great to kick-start the British GT season. Michael [Caine] and I learned a lot and the whole team was very happy with the progress we made, the car's handling and the set-up,'' said Ahmad.
''We weren't aiming for any particular lap times, that wasn't the point of the test. The focus was on prparing the new car for the first round of the season at Oulton Park a couple of weeks from now.'' The competition will be tough for the Oman Racing Team at the British GT Championship, with several strong teams confirming participation. Ahmad's team will look to improve on the top-five championship finish it achieved during its maiden campaign in 2013.
''Donington gave us a strong indication of the level of competition this year. There is a big grid again and some fantastic drivers and teams,'' Ahmad said. ''We know it is not going to be easy, but we are feeling confident. I know the circuits and I am learning more about the car with every lap. I think we are in a strong position for the year ahead.''
Rounds one and two of the 2014 British GT Championship will take place at the Oulton Park International Circuit in Cheshire, UK, on April 21. But before that, Ahmad will be competing in the opening round of the five-event Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza, Italy on April 13.
Ahmad will partner British GT teammate Caine and Briton Stephen Jelley in the series. The practice session will be held on April 11, with the qualifying session taking place the next