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World Endurance debutant Al Harthy all set for Friday’s opener in the US

15 Mar 2023

Muscat – FIA World Endurance Championship newcomer Ahmad al Harthy enjoyed two positive days of testing at Sebring in the USA, the venue for this weekend’s opening round of the 2023 season, and is now excited for his eagerly awaited race debut in WEC.

Marking the Omani’s first-ever visit to the Florida circuit, the official ‘Prologue’ on Saturday and Sunday provided four sessions for the drivers and teams to make their preparations ahead of qualifying on Thursday.

Al Harthy, joined by team-mates Charlie Eastwood and Michael Dinan, relished his first experience of the 17-turn, six-kilometre Sebring International Raceway at the wheel of the Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin GTE – a very different track to any he has raced at during his long career.

Providing an all-new challenge for the multiple GT3 racing champion, who is supported this season by the Oman Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, OQ, Omantel and MHD-ITICS, Al Harthy adapted well to the track which, in part, utilises former airbase runways and has several surface changes.

Oman Racing’s No.25 entry is competing in the GTE Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the only category in WEC for production-based cars, with a total grid of almost 40 entries set to line up for the opening round of the season on Friday.

“It’s been a very interesting two days of testing here at Sebring. It was very important to use the time to understand this circuit, it’s a very challenging circuit with very, very different characteristics from anywhere I’ve raced in the past. We did as we always do, and worked on qualifying settings and our race pace – the usual for testing. I’m satisfied with where we are at this stage,” said Al Harthy.

 “It feels very good to be racing here in America for the first time and the guys in the team are doing a great job, as always. Sebring is such a different style of circuit and this week’s race is going to be a long one, eight hours, so hopefully, we’re going into FP1 in a strong position. We learned a lot during this prologue, I’m looking forward to being back on track for practice and qualifying.” 

Race one of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, the 1,000 miles of Sebring, is set to begin at 8 pm Oman time on Friday. Live timing and live coverage can be followed online at www.fiawec.com or by downloading the official FIA WEC App.

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