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Ahmad hopes for good show at Asian Le Mans

4 Jan 2021 By ASHOK PUROHIT

The news of Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS) coming to neighbouring Yas Marina Circuit in UAE from Thailand has been welcomed by Oman Racing’s Ahmad al Harthy, who has recorded quite a few memorable results at the Abu Dhabi tracks.

All the four rounds of the Asian Le Mans Series, which begins on February 5, will be staged at the famed circuit.

The switch of the series, which was originally scheduled to be held in Thailand and Malaysia has been done due to ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest – the organising body behind the ALMS – made the decision during the latter part of 2020 to switch to Abu Dhabi due to travel restrictions in South East Asia.

For his maiden ALMS campaign, Ahmad will team up with Aston Martin factory driver Jonny Adam and AMR Driver Academy racer Tom Canning.

Ahmad has an encouraging record over the past ten years at the Yas Marina circuit.

Be it the lights-to-flag victory in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East F1 support race in 2011, or the pole position and a podium finish in the Gulf 12 Hours in 2015 with Adam and Darren Turner or a podium in the same race in 2017 with Tom Jackson and Euan McKay, Ahmad has relished the time spent at the venue. In 2018, the Omani driver narrowly missed the podium as he came fourth.

The double Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am champion said, “I can’t wait for the championship to begin at Yas Marina Circuit. Obviously, it’s the closest track we have to Oman, so it is going to be fantastic for all of us at Oman Racing. I have great memories there with some great results.

“We have a very strong line-up with Jonny [Adam] and Tom [Canning] and with the TF Sport guys preparing an amazing car for us, our confidence is very high. The competition is going to be incredibly strong, but we are determined to have a very successful championship.”

Having been on the racing sidelines for the bulk of 2020 due to the travel restrictions imposed because of COVID-19, Ahmad and Canning only made their first competitive appearance together at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in October. 

The duo starred in the No 97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 by winning the Pro-Am class on their debut in the International GT Open.

The four-race ALMS, which features four-hour races has been packed into a busy 17-day period. Following round one, the second four-hour race will be contested on February 6, with round three on February 19 and final round on February 20. 

To provide as much variety as possible for drivers and teams, the races will be run on two different track configurations at Yas Marina and the quartet of encounters will combine day, twilight and night racing. 

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