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Oman Racing Team fired up for British GT opener

April 15th 2014

Oman Racing Team fired up for British GT season opener at Oulton Park

Motorbase Performance will open its most ambitious GT programme to date at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend (April 19/21) when it fields a pair Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3s in the season opener of the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship.

Ranged against the best entry in the history of the British GT Championship will be the #4 Oman Racing Team car of Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine with the team's latest addition the #5 Vantage, making its competitive debut piloted by new pairing Rory Butcher and John Hartshorne.

Fresh from running the Oman car in the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza last weekend, the team now head to Cheshire for one of the most challenging tracks on the British GT schedule. The field is full at 34 cars plus reserves, such is the current popularity of the championship and the grid is packed with strong entries.

For the Motorbase Performance squad, British GT champions in 2012, it will be a first proper chance to measure the Aston Martins against its counterpart's from Porsche, Ferrari, Audi, Bentley, McLaren and BMW. Monday's two hour-long races promise to be fiercely-contested at a track where overtaking can be tough in GT cars.

The #5 Vantage will make its competitive debut with Rory Butcher and John HartshorneAfter qualifying on Saturday followed by a day of rest on Sunday, the first race starts at 11.15am on Monday with the second race scheduled for 3.45pm. The action will be covered in an edited highlights programme on Channel 4 and live event timing can be found at

Oman Racing Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"We're straight back from Monza and off to Oulton Park. We're stopping off at the workshops on the way from Italy to Cheshire to re-prepare the Oman Air car ready for the weekend. We'll change it back to British specification to suit the Avon tyre we use in British GT; we have to re-tune the car to work on the British tyres.

"The second Aston also gets to come out to play at Oulton Park with our new drivers Rory Butcher and John Hartshorne. Oulton Park is always a good opening event with two one-hour races and it is always exciting."

Quick turnaround for the #4 Aston Martin after competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series last weekend in MonzaOman Racing Team driver Michael Caine said:
"I love Oulton Park and it will be fantastic in the Aston. We've always gone well around Oulton and we had a test there last month. 

"We don't know what to expect at the moment and until we start running we won't really know where we are against the opposition. As much as we are contesting two different championships, it is the same crew running the same car."

Oman Racing Team driver Ahmad Al Harthy said:
"We want to be in the car as much as possible, so it will be good to go to Oulton Park straight from Monza. For sure, Oulton Park is very different to Monza, but this is what the season is all about; the mixture of large European tracks which are fast and flowing compared to some of the British tracks. It is all exciting and each track has its own challenge."

Oman Racing Team driver Rory Butcher said:
"With 34 cars on the grid at Oulton Park, my first event for the Oman Racing Team is going to be a very big deal. It's going to be great fun and I'm really excited about the whole programme.

"There's no better circuit to start the year off. We tested at Oulton in March in the Aston Martin and it makes the circuit feel like a kart track! It is so quick. Heading up Clay Hill into Druids in fifth gear feels very quick. But the Aston handles it so well. It is such a great car. They have done some resurfacing over the winter and at Druids you can feel the extra grip. It's the start of a new challenge for me."