Oman Racing Team unrewarded on home soil

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A challenging weekend for the Oman Racing Team during round six of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship ended on a low note for the Motorbase-run squad on its home circuit, Brands Hatch last weekend (August 1/2).

Heading into the two hour contest on the world famous Brands Hatch GP loop, the local Wrotham-based squad anticipated a tough race with fierce competition from the packed GT3 grid. However, a forced early retirement for the #2 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 and contact for the #6 Vantage meant the team came away disappointed with a sixth place finish after positive start to the weekend.

Griffin and Al Harthy took the opening stints for Sunday’s race, starting in 5th and 8th positions on the grid respectively. Griffin made an excellent start in the #6 Vantage, working his way up into third place overall before handing over driving duties to Rory Butcher. Likewise, Al Harthy had comfortably moved up into fourth before contact with Minshaw’s BMW forced an early pit-stop to repair a puncture.

A perfect pit-stop performance from the Motorbase crew saw Al Harthy re-join in eleventh from where the Omani-based driver quickly made it into the top ten before the Aston lost drive resulting from the earlier contact and the #2 Vantage had to unfortunately retire from the race.

The safety-car packed challenge continued for the #6 Vantage, with Butcher dealing with his own on-track battles and despite slipping back down the order, the Scotsman fought back well to cross the line in sixth place overall.

Motorbase Team Principal David Bartrum commented; “A really disappointing weekend all in all. Both cars did a good job in qualifying and it looked like we’d have a good race from the opening laps, unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

“The pace was there in both cars, it’s just a shame that we got tangled up on track. The team and the drivers did a good job; hopefully we’ll have a bit better luck at Snetterton in the sprint races.”

The weekend’s results leave Griffin and Butcher in third place overall in the championship standings. Al Harthy and Lloyd maintain a comfortable lead in the Silver Cup class and are placed sixth overall with Motorbase Performance second in the GT3 Teams’ standings with three rounds of the season remaining.

The British GT Championship now has a short break before reconvening at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit on August 22/23 for a double-header round with two, one hour sprint races.

Driver quotes:

Ahmad Al Harthy:
“It’s a frustrating way for the weekend to end for sure, we had very good pace and were running as high as fourth during the first part of the race.”

“We had a very good car this weekend, qualifying went well and Dan [Lloyd] and I had good pace so it’s even more frustrating to have missed out on some good points this way. We’re determined to turn things around at Snetterton in a few weeks.”

Source material - Motorbase
Photo credits - PSP Images
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