OMAN RACING WITH TF SPORT SCORE FIFTH AT GT WORLD CHALLENGE RETURN
Double Teams’ and Drivers’ Champions Oman Racing with TF Sport, took fifth place in the ultra-competitive Pro Am class, at their return to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, last weekend at the Nürburgring, Germany.
The #97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 kicked off its European campaign in style, as AMR factory driver Maxime Martin, who was standing in for Charlie Eastwood, placed the entry in P2 for the first private practice session, and the Belgian then matched this in the pre-qualifying run.
It was a tough qualifying session for the Oman Racing trio, as traffic marred their flying laps. Nevertheless, their aggregate time placed them on the second row, in third place, for the start of the three-hour GT3 battle.
Omani Al Harthy took the race start and held his own against higher-graded drivers, only losing out on one position during his stint. Unfortunately, an issue in the driver change to Petrobelli saw the #97 drop a further track position. Despite being caught by two pro drivers, Giacomo fought hard and brought the TF-run Vantage in, in P7 at the stop.
AMR factory ace, Martin, was given the honours of the closing stint. A safety car period called in the final stages of the race, brought the GT3 pack together once again and it would be a dash to the flag. The crew always knew that the Nürburgring wasn’t the Aston Martin’s strongest track, and despite his best efforts progressing up to fifth, Maxime had a tough time trying to get past other manufacturers ahead, and crossed the line to take P5 in Pro Am.
The Oman Racing with TF Sport Vantage will return to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup at Barcelona on October 10.
Tom Ferrier, Team Owner - “It was great to make our return to the GT World Challenge Europe and although it was disappointing that Charlie couldn’t be with us, we were very pleased to have Max joining the team for the first time. We knew it would be a challenging track for us, and both the crew and drivers maximised their potential. The Vantage should be much more suited to Barcelona, so we’re really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve there.”
Ahmad Al Harthy, Bronze driver - “Feels good to be back in the GTWC. It’s a very tough grid and we worked hard throughout the weekend to get the best we could out of the car and work on the race pace. We had good pre-qualifying and qualifying sessions, but the race was very tough! I did the best I could do in my stint and kept out of trouble, made sure the car came back in a good position. Everybody drove extremely well, despite it being a challenge track for us! Looking forward to Barcelona!”
Giacomo Petrobelli, Bronze driver - “It’s been a long time, but it’s nice to be back in the GT World Challenge Europe. It’s fair to say the competitive level certainly hasn’t gone down! It was a challenging weekend trying to get the car to suit the circuit, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy! But we can all be happy that we drove a consistent race and we brought what we could, home. For me personally, it’s nice to be back at this level, racing with a great team and great team mates.”
Maxime Martin, Platinum driver - “For sure it was a challenging weekend. It was the first time all three drivers had driven together, but at the end of the day, we improved through all of the sessions. We had a great qualifying, it was a very good drive from my team mates. The race was a bit tougher, as we knew the race pace of the car wasn’t as good as other manufacturers in the championship. I want to thank TF for their hard work, the team is very professional, which was great for me in my first time with them.”