Oman Racing's new drivers for Blancpain finale

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Aston Martin works driver Stefan Mücke and Rory Butcher will join British GT Silver Cup winner Ahmad Al Harthy in the Oman Racing Team Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 for the closing round of the Blancpain Endurance Series on the world-famous Nürburgring circuit this weekend (September 19 -20).

The three hour contest, billed as the GT500, is the fifth and final endurance race of the 2015 Blancpain series and the #44 Aston Martin Vantage faces a formidable entry of 57 GT3 cars on the German Grand Prix circuit, where it will be competing in the Pro Cup class once more.

With regular driver Jonny Adam called up for WEC duties with the Aston Martin Racing team, 33 year-old Mücke has been brought into the Motorbase-run squad for the final round and the 2009 Le Mans Series and multiple WEC GTE Pro winner brings a wealth of experience and star quality to the line-up alongside Al Harthy and Butcher, who makes his Blancpain debut this weekend.

“Jonny has been called up to the Aston Martin WEC team which is a fantastic opportunity for him;” commented Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve been part of his journey and we wish him the very best of luck for the weekend.”

“From our point of view AMR have been great by getting Stefan into the car for us. He’s one of the best Aston Martin racers in the world, a proven world-class driver and probably one of the best we’ve ever had in a Motorbase car.”

“We’re also bringing through Rory Butcher from our British GT squad;” added Bartrum. “Rory is a great young talent who’s shown his class to us in the last two seasons and only just missed out on the title last weekend. Along with Ahmad, who is always very good and consistent, we have a very strong line up for the last round and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve with the three of them.”

David Bartrum’s squad returns to the Nürburgring with unfinished business after early contact ruled the Vantage out of a strong Pro Cup class finish there last season and despite showing impressive pace across the four races to date, the Oman Racing Team has yet to be rewarded with results worthy of the teams efforts and potential.

“We have a difficult task ahead of us being back in the Pro Cup class;” continued the Team Boss. “With the size and quality of the field with the manufacturers’ teams it’s been a really tough task this year. Our first target is to qualify well again this year and then it would be lovely - and a big ask - to get a podium. We’ll give it our best, race well and show the team to the best of our ability and if all goes well give Ahmad a worthy finish for the season.”

Driver Quotes:

Ahmad Al Harthy:
“I really am looking forward to this weekend’s race, probably as much as any other this season to be honest. Teaming with Rory and Stefan is going to be a great experience and we’re all determined to take away the best result we can, we know we have a good car and the team has done an incredible job all season.

“The Oman Racing Team has had some misfortune this year, so ending the Blancpain season with our best result yet is the target and, I think, a very realistic aim. Anything can happen in a three hour race, we all know that, but I have a lot of confidence in my new team-mates and I’m sure we can end the season very positively.”

Rory Butcher:
“It’s my first time on the circuit and competing in the Blancpain so I’m absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity and really looking forward with working with Ahmad and Stefan. We’ve got a great line up and it’s great to have Stefan with us as this weekend he’s so familiar with the circuit.

“Qualifying will be key again with such a huge grid but we know we have a great race car and line up - we just need to go out there and try to get a great result for the team.”

Free practice for the final three hour race of the season starts at 11.05 local time on Saturday, 19th September, with pre-qualifying from 4.15pm local time.

Sunday’s action gets underway with qualifying at 8.30am local time before the main race commences at 2.45pm local time. MotorsTV will be broadcasting the race live from 1.15pm UK time with live streaming also available via the Blancpain website:

Source material - Oman Racing
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