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Top 10 Pro-Am grid position for Team Oman
Old 24 Jul 2015 12:48
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Just 0.5 seconds made the difference for the Oman Racing Team during qualifying for this weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa – the front-running Blancpain Endurance Series team missing out on the final ‘Super Pole’ period after being impacted by slower traffic during yesterday evening’s timed sessions.

Ahmad Al Harthy, plus team-mates Jonny Adam, Daniel Lloyd and squad newcomer Jonathan Venter, enjoyed a strong day at the Belgian track on Thursday, 23rd July, but ultimately had to settle for a best lap of 2m19.615 seconds in the late evening run courtesy of Scottish driver Adam.

Lapping within just 0.5 seconds of the cut-off for today’s Super Pole qualification finale, Adam was also little more than a second shy of the top of the times. With traffic on his quickest lap costing the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 driver a substantial chunk of time, though, the team was unfortunate to miss out on the overall top 20 shoot-out but will still begin the race inside the Pro-Am top 10.

“We set a respectable time in qualifying, it was very close to Super Pole and we might have made it actually – on our fastest lap, with Jonny behind the wheel, we were compromised by a slower car so we honestly feel we should have been there”, reflected Aston Martin Middle East and North Africa ambassador Ahmad.

“We all believe we have a strong car for the race, though, and we can’t wait for it. Our preparations have gone well, we know what we need to do and we’re all comfortable in the Aston Martin. Jonny, Dan and Jonathan have all done a great job so far and I’m happy with my pace too – roll on the start of the race now on Saturday afternoon!”

Running just outside the Pro-Am top 10 in Pre-Qualifying, the Oman Air, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs, Ooredoo, National Bank of Oman and Al Hashar Group backed squad ended the evening’s main qualifying period in 24th position overall, from a near 60 car entry, and 10th in Pro-Am.

During the subsequent Night Qualifying run, the No.44 Aston Martin was an improved 14th quickest overall - just a second shy of the best time in the session – and inside the top four in Pro-Am. Due to the quicker laps in the preceding evening period, however, the team just missed the cut by fractions for Super Pole but will still line-up a competitive 10th in Pro-Am.

This weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, round four of the Blancpain Endurance Series campaign, is the blue riband race meeting of the season and the big event also marks the first of the year for the Oman Racing Team in the Pro-Am category, having been regraded from the Pro class.

Following a warm-up session at Spa-Francorchamps at 09.05 (local time) on Saturday, 25th July, the twice-round-the-clock race will get underway at 16.30 (local time).

Photo: Peter May/PM Images
Tags: 2014 spa24hours teamoman

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