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Oman Racing Team set for iconic Spa

July 8th 2014

Oman Racing Team head to the iconic Spa circuit for this weekend's British GT double header

The world-famous circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium is the destination for the Oman Racing Team as rounds seven and eight of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship get underway this coming weekend (11/12 July).

With two wins from the opening four races, Oman Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 drivers Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine currently lie joint fourth in the championship standings, a mere half a point off third place, and are determined to bounce back with a strong performance after a disappointing weekend last time out at Snetterton. The fast and flowing Belgian track should suit both the Aston Martin Vantage V12 and the drivers well.

Jeff Smith partners Rory Butcher in the #5 Motorbase-run Vantage GT3 again this weekend

Meanwhile, the #5 Vantage will once again be handled by Rory Butcher and former BTCC racer Jeff Smith following their successful first weekend racing together at Snetterton last month. The pairing showed encouraging pace last time out and both are aiming for a points scoring finish during the championship's only overseas visit.

The Motorbase Performance-run squad heads to the iconic track in buoyant mood after completing a successful test session there last week ahead of both the British GT weekend and the Spa 24-hour race at the end of July. Spa, which sits in the Ardennes Mountains, is revered as one of the top three race tracks in the world and offers drivers a fantastic three-dimensional challenge. However, the area is also noted for fickle weather, with conditions prone to sudden changes and rain is often a threat.

Caine and Al Harthy looking for strong performance to close championship gap

Competition will be tough as the British GT Championship heads to the longest track on the schedule with potentially the biggest grid of the season, with almost 40 cars expected to gather in Belgium.

After qualifying at 15.50 on Friday, both 60-minute races run on Saturday (12 July), starting at 09.15 and 13.50. General circuit admission is free of charge. The action will be covered in an edited highlights programme on Channel 4 scheduled to be shown at 7am (GMT) on Sunday 20th July.

Oman Racing Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"I'm very much looking forward to my month of Spa! It's a great circuit with a great atmosphere and to get to go there three times in a month is quite special. Testing went well, we think the Aston will go well down at Spa and I'm hoping we'll get some good results behind us.

"The one sad part of doing the British GT this weekend is that Bernard Cottrell can't be with us. I've known him for a long time and I'm sure he's in good hands at the hospital; we all wish him well and hope to see him back at a race track soon. I dare say he'll manage to find someone to fine me for something in his absence!"

Oman Racing Team driver Michael Caine said:
"Spa is the best circuit we race on, and one that should be well suited to our car. Snetterton wasn't an Aston Martin track, but Spa is much faster and similar in some ways to Silverstone, where we were strong all weekend. I don't see any reason why we can't go there and be challenging for the podium."

Oman Racing Team driver Rory Butcher said:
"We've got so much potential! I've been to Spa once and Jeff has been there a couple of times and I think we'll do well there. Driving the Aston Martin around Spa will be unbelievable. There are so many fast corners at Spa and the Aston is so good in fast corners. I can't wait!"