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Oman Racing ready for 'Bronze' class bid in Paul Ricard

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PARIS: Two-time Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup Pro-Am Champion Ahmad al Harthy begins his bid for the new ‘Bronze’ class title at Paul Ricard in France this weekend, April 6/7, during the opening three-hour race of the 2024 season.


Marking the Omani’s first GTWCE campaign with BMW and crack outfit Team WRT, Al Harthy is joined in the striking new orange, black and white No 30 BMW M4 GT3 by British racer Sam De Haan and BMW factory racer Jens Klingmann.


Oman Racing ready for 'Bronze' class bid in Paul Ricard
Oman Racing ready for 'Bronze' class bid in Paul Ricard


Following a positive two-day prologue test at the Le Castellet track near Marseille in early March with the BMW M4, Al Harthy and the newly branded OQ by Oman Racing squad heads into this week’s activity at Paul Ricard focused on a strong and competitive beginning to the season.


Of course, it’s only four weeks since the Omani sportsman got his dovetailed campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship underway in Qatar, achieving a well-deserved fourth place LMGT3 class finish with team-mates Maxime Martin and Valentino Rossi.


With such a busy on-track schedule in 2024, it is undoubtedly the biggest year of Al Harthy’s glittering motorsport career and he is proud to again be flying the flag for Oman in the Europe-wide GTWCE Endurance Cup.


Oman Racing ready for 'Bronze' class bid in Paul Ricard
Oman Racing ready for 'Bronze' class bid in Paul Ricard


Key support for the Omani sportsman’s five-round campaign, which will reach its conclusion in Saudi Arabia in late November, comes from prestigious partners OQ, Oman Ministry of Culture Sports and Youth, Omantel and BMW Oman.


The coming GTWCE campaign marks Al Harthy’s return to the category for the first time since a part season in 2021, when racing and travel was still impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. His Pro-Am titles in the Endurance Cup came in 2017 and 2019 and he is determined to mount a similarly strong bid for glory in the new Bronze class.


Oman Racing ready for 'Bronze' class bid in Paul Ricard
Oman Racing ready for 'Bronze' class bid in Paul Ricard


Ahmad Al Harthy:


“We’re all very excited to get our GTWCE season underway this weekend. It’s a huge year for me, and my incredible partners, with the dual programme in FIA WEC and the GT World Challenge. So, after a good start to WEC in Qatar, I’m determined to get the new GTWCE season off to the best possible start in France.


“The new BMW M4 GT3 is a fantastic car, it’s great to drive and the guys at Team WRT are already doing a fantastic job for OQ by Oman Racing. Obviously, I’ve raced alongside Sam [De Haan] before and we work very well together. Jens [Klingsmann] is a BMW factory driver so we definitely have a strong and very capable line-up. We know the competition is incredibly high so consistency is vital.”


Al Harthy’s first track action at Paul Ricard will come during the Bronze Test on Friday, April 5, ahead of a two-hour Free Practice and one hour Pre-Qualifying session on Saturday, April 6 – the latter beginning at 15.05 local time. Later in the evening there will be a half hour Pit-Stop Practice.


On Sunday, April 7, final qualifying will get underway at 09.45 local time with the race following at 15.00 local time.


Sunday’s action will be live at www.gt-world-challenge-europe.com/watch-live


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