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Oman Racing Team rewarded with top ten at Nurburgring season finale

September 22nd 2015

The Oman Racing Team were rewarded with a top ten at the Nurburgring

The Oman Racing Team wrapped up its 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series campaign with a superb top ten finish during the 500 on the world-famous Nürburgring last weekend (September 19/20).

The Motorbase Performance-run Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, driven by Ahmad Al Harthy, Rory Butcher and AMR works driver Stefan Mücke faced a fantastic grid of over 55 GT3 cars on the Eifel circuit and the new line-up delivered an impressive team performance to claim the squad's best finish to date in the fifth and final round of the season.

L-R: Rory Butcher, Ahmad Al Harthy & Stefan Mucke

"It was a very good weekend and a great end to a challenging season;" commented Team Principal David Bartrum. "It was a pleasure to have Stefan in the squad this weekend and great to be able to give Rory the chance to come and show us what he could do in the Blancpain. The two of them along with Ahmad helped to bring an excellent atmosphere to the team and I'm very proud to have come away with a P10 in the season finale."

Despite a difficult start to the weekend with the #44 Vantage missing the pre-qualifying session due to electrical issues and a red flag  hampering the squad's qualifying result, the Oman Racing Team battled back hard during the three hour contest to secure tenth place overall from 22nd on the grid.

The Oman Racing Team in action during the three hour race

Berlin-based Mücke took the opening stint and immediately set to work moving the Oman-backed Aston up through the order and had expertly made his way up into 7th as the first mandatory pit stops took place. Handing over to Al Harthy around the 70 minute mark, the pit-stop reshuffle saw the Aston re-join the race in 14th overall and the Omani drove a strong stint, maintaining position as the race progressed.

An outstanding debut Blancpain drive from Motorbase British GT squad regular Rory Butcher saw the Young Scotsman pilot the #44 Aston into the top ten as the race entered the final hour and he fought off strong competition to bring the Vantage across the line in 10th place overall, securing a best result of the season for the Oman Racing Team and its second Pro Cup points finish of the 2015 campaign.

57 GT3 cars competed on the world-famous Eifel circuit

"The whole team did a great job this weekend;" added Bartrum.  "The crew were faultless in the pit-stops, the drivers delivered and this result gives us a fantastic building block to take with us into next year.

"That's our aim now, to get back on the Blancpain grid in 2016. We've had a couple of years in the series now to learn what to do, and more importantly what not to do, and we've watched the series grow massively in that time. When you see the level of the talent on the grid and the teams and drivers that you're competing against it's amazing to think that our humble little team has managed to hold its own and I'm very pleased with how the team has performed."

The #44 Aston Martin claimed its best result to date in the Blancpain season finale

Bartrum continued; "I'd like to say a big thank you to Ahmad Al Harthy for making this season possible and also a big thanks to Jonny Adam for the big part he's played this year - I'm just sorry that he didn't get to finish the season with us. Stefan Mücke deserves a special mention for his work with Rory and the team this weekend as does Rory for a job well done on his Blancpain debut – he's definitely a star in the making."

"Finally on behalf of everyone at Motorbase Performance and the Oman Racing Team I'd also like to congratulate to Bob Neville and all at RJN on winning the Blancpain Endurance Series title."

Driver Quotes:

Ahmad Al Harthy: 
"That was a great, great race for us. To finish in the top 10 in Blancpain is like a podium to us, we're competing against some of the best teams and drivers in the world, so to end the season with a result like this is fantastic and very important for the Oman Racing Team.

"Stefan and Rory did an amazing, amazing job and we were able to show we can be competitive with the best. Nurburgring isn't the best track for our car either, so it shows what a great job the whole team did this weekend."

Rory Butcher: 
"It doesn't get any more competitive than the Blancpain Endurance Series with the 57 car grid.  It was a superb team effort to secure 10th overall against the might of the works teams and everyone performed to the highest level to get the result. It felt like we had scored a podium finish never mind a top ten and the guys deserved to be happy.

"Stefan, Ahmad and I clicked very well together and I think it showed on the track. I must say a big thank you to the Oman Racing Team for this opportunity!"

MotorsTV will broadcast highlights from the three hour season finale from 9pm on Tuesday, September 22nd. 

MotorsTV can be found on the following channels: Sky 447, Virgin 545 and Freeview 71 & 240.