Muscat – European Le Mans Series LMGTE championship leader Ahmad al Harthy returns to Italy this weekend for the third round at legendary Monza, where the Aston Martin racer is hoping to deliver another star performance and further enhance his points tally.
After a historic outing at Imola just over a month ago – where Al Harthy stormed to a sensational maiden ELMS race victory in the LMGTE class in his second outing in the championship – Oman’s number one racing driver is looking for a repeat performance.
Al Harthy, and team-mates – Sam De Haan and Aston Martin factory driver Marco Sorensen – won’t be taking the challenge lightly for they know how bad things can go, as it happened at the start of their campaign at Paul Ricard in France in April, when they had to retire with a broken steering after the first lap.
But they bounced back in the best possible style, with an outstanding performance in Imola. Flawless in qualifying, Al Harthy dominated to secure a dream LMGTE pole position. He continued his form in the four-hour race where he set things up perfectly for the victory bid with a superb double-stint, calmly dealing with several Full Course Yellow and Safety Car interventions. De Haan completed hour three of the race before Sorensen took the run to the flag in hour four – winning a lap clear of the sister TF Sport-run Oman Racing car.
It is that same teamwork which the team is determined to replicate on Saturday and Sunday at Monza, a track where Al Harthy and Oman Racing have enjoyed great success in the past in GT3 racing.
It is three years since the Omani last raced at Monza. On his previous visit in 2019, he achieved a top three podium finish in the Pro-Am class of the then Blancpain Endurance Cup – now known as the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup. In 2017, he raced to his first Pro-Am victory in GTWCE at Monza with Jonny Adam.
“I can’t wait to be back at Monza, it’s been a while since we last raced there so I really am looking forward to driving there in the LMGTE car,” said Al Harthy, who is backed by the Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, OQ, Omantel and MHD-ITICS.
“Imola was incredible, absolutely incredible, and we all hope to deliver a similar performance this weekend.
“Everyone in the team worked so hard, the TF guys did an amazing job with the strategy and Sam and Marco were fantastic. Personally, I was delighted with my own performance and to have achieved the first ELMS win for Oman is something so special. Obviously, taking the lead of the LMGTE championship was the icing on the cake for us and we hope to build on that in Imola and put some space between ourselves and our rivals.”
Oman Racing’s first track time at Monza with the No.69 Aston Martin Vantage GTE will be on Friday, with the opening free practice ahead of a standalone session for the ‘Bronze’ graded drivers, such as Al Harthy. Free practice two will take place on Saturday with LMGTE qualifying beginning at 13.40 local time.
Race three of the ELMS season, the 4 Hours of Monza, will get underway at 11.30 local time on Sunday, 3rd July, and all of the action will be streamed LIVE online at:
ELMS – LMGTE Driver Standings (after Rd2)
1st Ahmad Al Harthy/Marco Sorensen/Sam De Haan, 26pts
1st Nicolas Varrone/Pierre Ehret/Memo Gidley, 26pts
1st Henrique Chaves/John Hartshorne/Jonathan Adam, 26pts