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Oman Racing Team unrewarded on home soil

August 5th 2015

Oman Racing Team unrewarded on home soil

A challenging weekend for the Oman Racing Team during round six of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship ended on a low note for the Motorbase-run squad on its home circuit, Brands Hatch last weekend (August 1/2).

Heading into the two hour contest on the world famous Brands Hatch GP loop, the local Wrotham-based squad anticipated a tough race with fierce competition from the packed GT3 grid. However, a forced early retirement for the #2 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 and contact for the #6 Vantage meant the team came away disappointed with a sixth place finish after positive start to the weekend.

Griffin and Al Harthy took the opening stints for Sunday's race, starting in 5th and 8thpositions on the grid respectively. Griffin made an excellent start in the #6 Vantage, working his way up into third place overall before handing over driving duties to Rory Butcher. Likewise, Al Harthy had comfortably moved up into fourth before contact with Minshaw's BMW forced an early pit-stop to repair a puncture.

A perfect pit-stop performance from the Motorbase crew saw Al Harthy re-join in eleventh from where the Omani-based driver quickly made it into the top ten before the Aston lost drive resulting from the earlier contact and the #2 Vantage had to unfortunately retire from the race.

The #6 Vantage fought back well to end the two hour race in sixthThe safety-car packed challenge continued for the #6 Vantage, with Butcher dealing with his own on-track battles and despite slipping back down the order, the Scotsman fought back well to cross the line in sixth place overall.

Motorbase Team Principal David Bartrum commented; "A really disappointing weekend all in all. Both cars did a good job in qualifying and it looked like we'd have a good race from the opening laps, unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"The pace was there in both cars, it's just a shame that we got tangled up on track. The team and the drivers did a good job; hopefully we'll have a bit better luck at Snetterton in the sprint races."

The #2 Vantage was forced to retire early after race damage

The weekend's results leave Griffin and Butcher in third place overall in the championship standings. Al Harthy and Lloyd maintain a comfortable lead in the Silver Cup class and are placed sixth overall with Motorbase Performance second in the GT3 Teams' standings with three rounds of the season remaining.

The British GT Championship now has a short break before reconvening at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit on August 22/23 for a double-header round with two, one hour sprint races.

Driver quotes:

Ahmad Al Harthy: 
"It's a frustrating way for the weekend to end for sure, we had very good pace and were running as high as fourth during the first part of the race."

"We had a very good car this weekend, qualifying went well and Dan [Lloyd] and I had good pace so it's even more frustrating to have missed out on some good points this way. We're determined to turn things around at Snetterton in a few weeks."

Channel 4 will feature race highlights from Brands Hatch from 7am on Sunday August 9thwith MotorsTV broadcasting its highlights show at 11.05pm on Wednesday August 5th. A full TV schedule can be found on the British GT Championship website here.

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