Split fortunes for the Oman Racing GTE crews at Paul Ricard yesterday

Monday, April 18, 2022

The opening round of the 2022 European Le Mans Series turned out to be something of a mixed affair for the two Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE crews yesterday at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Showing great pace earlier in the proceedings with their #69 crew of Ahmad Al Harthy, Sam De Haan and Marco Sorensen by having claimed a P2 start to Sunday’s opening four-hour race in only their first GTE ruleset race meeting together, their debut race was to unfortunately end even before they had completed the end of the opening lap.

With a mixture of forty-two LMP2, LMP3 and GTE cars competing for track space around the open Le Castellet circuit in the south of France, an incident within the LMP3 field ahead on the opening lap lead to De Haan being side swiped by a debris avoiding prototype car – contact that would immediately lead to race ending steering and suspension damage as De Haan was forced to park his car just onto the start straight but crucially already beyond the track entrance to the pit lane.

Whilst that side of the TF Sport garage would take no further part in the event, the #95 car of John Hartshorne, Henrique Chaves and Jonny Adam would go onto to enjoy their probably their best event yet in the series to start their year with a robust race and finish.

Having Qualified at the tail end of the twelve GTE runners, although not on track at the start of the race as a number of cars would be starting from pit lane, it looked at if the red and white liveried car would struggle to elevate itself up from that position as the race progressed.

However, two good stints from Hartshorne and Chaves found the car as high as fifth in class by the car was handed over to AMR Factory driver Adam to see out the race. Eventually completing this opening round in P6 in class, that secured the crew vital points in the Championship as it now looks to its second round from Imola next month.

Photo credits – TF Sport / Andrew Lofthouse 
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