Muscat – GT3 motor racing champion Ahmad al Harthy has officially confirmed his entry into GTE competition in the prestigious European Le Mans Series with Oman Racing.
Oman’s Al Harthy, a double Pro-Am Champion in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, is to take on the GTE class of the European Le Mans Series along with British driver Sam De Haan – whom he partnered in February’s ALMS – and star Aston Martin factory driver Marco Sorensen.
Al Harthy will also enjoy fantastic continuity in terms of his partners for the ELMS with the Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, OQ, Omantel, and MHD-ITICS all providing their key support for the full six-event season.
“I am incredibly excited to be taking on this fantastic new challenge in GTE in the European Le Mans Series and, of course, so very proud to be representing Oman on such a prestigious stage”, saidAlHarthy, “We have a fantastic team in Oman Racing and I’m absolutely delighted to be teaming with Sam and Marco for this new chapter, I really am looking forward to racing alongside them both.
“The Aston Martin GTE is a new challenge for me, but testing so far has gone well and working with a driver as successful as Marco and the guys at TF Sport – who know the car – means we’re taking a lot of positivity forward into the ELMS season.”
He added: “I’m delighted to have the ongoing support of my incredible sponsors, it’s wonderful to have OQ returning as a key strategic partner alongside the Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Omantel, MHD-ITICS. Hopefully, we can all enjoy a successful season and be in the fight for podiums, race wins and the championship at the end of the season,” said Al Harthy who finished a two-day officially timed test at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, on Tuesday.
The opening four-hour race of the 2022 European Le Mans Series will take place on Sunday at the Le Castellet track. The championship will then visit legendary circuits Imola and Monza, both in Italy, Barcelona in Spain, and Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps, before reaching a conclusion at Portimao in Portugal on October 16.
Oman Racing’s stunning black and silver No.69 Aston Martin GTE will be prepared and engineered by long-time partner team TF Sport which has been instrumental in the many successes enjoyed by Al Harthy over recent seasons.
The GTE specification car has significant differences to the Vantage GT3 which Al Harthy most recently raced in the Asian Le Mans. Featuring a larger rear wing, much bigger rear diffuser and aerodynamic changes to the front splitter and side skirts of the car, it also has a number of changes under the skin which all go toward making GTE cars several seconds a lap faster than the GT3.
Platinum graded Danish driver Sorensen needs no introduction in the world of endurance racing, the Aston Martin factory driver having twice previously won the LMGTE Pro Championship in the FIA World Endurance Championship. British racer De Haan, who is graded Silver, is experienced in GTWCE and the British GT Championship, winning the Pro-Am title in British GT in 2019.
OQ confirmed as part of Al Harthy’s high-profile partner portfolio
As part of his official 2022 European Le Mans Series announcement, Al Harthy is also elated to confirm the continuation of his partnership with a globally integrated energy company, OQ, the Omani company which first became associated with the multiple champion driver last year.
OQ is a globally integrated energy company with roots in Oman, operating in 17 countries around the world and covering the entire value chain from exploration and production to marketing and distribution of end-user products. OQ’s fuels and chemicals are sold in over 60 countries worldwide, making the company a prominent player in the energy sector.
Wholly owned by the Omani government, and founded in 2019, OQ is firmly established as a thriving business in the energy sector and has strong focus on the expansion of alternative sources of energy, in addition to its involvement with traditional fuels. The first round of the European Le Mans Series will be streamed live online at https://live.europeanlemansseries.com/en/ from 1 pm Sunday.