Oman Racing Spa24 summary report

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Oman Racing Team was denied a podium finish in the world's toughest GT race when its Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was forced to retire with just three hours to run in the Total 24 hours of Spa (25/26 July).

The 67th running of the famous round-the-clock race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium is an incredibly tough race and attracted a stellar entry of GT cars for round four of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

The Oman Racing Team faced a formidable entry of 59 of the world's leading endurance drivers and teams. Ahmad Al Harthy was sharing the driving with Jonny Adam, Daniel Lloyd and young Australian racer Jonathan Venter.

The race build-up and qualifying went very well and the Oman car showed its speed with strong laps in qualifying as they slotted into a top 10 position in the Pro-Am category.

Typical ever-changing weather conditions in the Ardennes Mountains made tyre choice difficult at the start of the race, but the Motorbase team made some good calls. However, another sudden change of weather threw the race into turmoil and the team had to bring the car back into the pits once more to change tyres. Then, a safety car period added further uncertainty and the Oman car dropped to 39th place.

The Aston Martin powers thorough Eau RougeUndeterred, the entire team battled hard through the night and managed to get the car right up to tenth overall and fourth in Pro-Am, with a real prospect of moving into a podium place.

Unfortunately, just as it seemed that a place on the Pro-Am podium was within their grasp, the car hit trouble as a section of the floor worked loose. That cost time in the pits but then an engine drive belt problem finally forced the Aston Martin out of the race after 444 laps and with just three hours left to run on Sunday afternoon. Although the belt could have been replaced, the engine was not fit to continue.

However, the Oman car had covered sufficient distance to be classified as a finisher in 30th place overall and tenth in Pro-Am.

Dan Lloyd worked hard to try and fix the car tracksideDaniel Lloyd was driving when the car stopped on track and he worked hard to try and fix the problem using the tools carried in the car. The regulations permit the driver to work on the car, but team personnel cannot touch the car outside the pit area.

Team boss David Bartrum was impressed with Lloyd's effort to get the car back into the race. "Seeing Daniel working at the side of the track trying to fix the car set an example to all GT drivers. He never gave up trying to get the car to the finish," said Bartrum.

"I'm a very proud team boss to have seen the determination of the whole team, which worked so well for 22 hours. To not get a result after that was very disappointing. It was team and drivers at their best. This is a fantastic event and we've still got unfinished business with the Spa 24-hours."

Source material - Motorbase
Photo credit - Peter May Images
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes