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Oman Racing Team battle back to take top four Pro-Am finish in Blancpain Endurance Cup

September 22nd 2016

Oman Racing Team battle back to take top four Pro-Am finish in Blancpain Endurance Cup

The Oman Racing Team battled back from adversity during the fifth and final round of the Blancpain Endurance Cup season last weekend to end the season fourth in the Pro-Am championship standings at the Nurburgring (17-18 September).

After securing a maiden Pro-Am class pole position, contact on the opening lap of Sunday's three hour race unfortunately derailed the squad's hopes of achieving third place in the Drivers' Championship – with the Motorbase-run squad missing out on the top three spot by a single point.

Jonny Adam was the star of the weekend once more with the Scotsman delivering an on-point performance  during an interrupted qualifying session in heavy fog to claim 6th overall on the grid and the Oman Racing Team's first-ever Blancpain pole position.

Omani-based Ahmad Al Harthy made a strong start to the final long-haul race of the season, moving the #44 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 into the lead pack as they headed into turn 1 before being collected as the front-running Pro cars exited the first corner. With no room to recover, the #44 Vantage was pitched off the circuit and forced to re-join the race in dead last.

Oman Racing Team battle back to take top four Pro-Am finish in Blancpain Endurance CupWith a mammoth task ahead of him, Al Harthy dug deep and set his sights on making his way through the 51-car-strong grid. An early safety car appearance helped to reduce the 16 second deficit from the race leaders and an outstanding drive from the Muscat racer saw the #44 Vantage pit in 14th in the Pro-Am class.

Strong drives from both Devon Modell and Jonny Adam followed with the duo continuing the good work from Al Harthy's opening stint. Taking the final hour of the three-hour contest, Adam worked his way up through the field to take 26th place overall and 8th in the Pro-Am class as the flag dropped.

Frustratingly for the Oman Racing Team and in spite of an inspiring comeback performance, the results saw the Motorbase-run squad narrowly miss out on a highly-coveted top three Pro-Am Drivers' finish by a single point – taking fifth in the Team Standings.

"It was a disappointing end to the season;" said Team Principal David Bartrum. "Everyone has worked so hard this year and we went into the last round with high expectations. Jonny getting P6 in qualifying and our first-ever class pole was really a great testament to all of the good work that the team had put in, and for Ahmad to get tipped in the first corner through no fault of his own is a bitter pill to swallow.

Oman Racing Team battle back to take top four Pro-Am finish in Blancpain Endurance Cup"It was an impossible task to come back from dog last and took a tremendous effort by all three drivers to get back to 26th but the result meant we fell short of where we needed to be in the championship."

"The only consolation really is that everyone has done a superb job this season;" added the Team Boss. "The drivers have been absolutely on it at every round this year and the crew have been on top form - engineering wise and pit-stops.  When something has gone wrong it's not been because of an error but simply ‘one of those things' that happens in motorsport."

"I'd like to say a big thanks to everyone in the Oman Racing Team crew, behind the scenes and also to the drivers for a top effort this year."

Driver Quotes:

Ahmad Al Harthy:                                                
Oman Racing Team battle back to take top four Pro-Am finish in Blancpain Endurance Cup"We were so close to achieving our target of third in the championship, it really couldn't have been any closer. We did everything we could, absolutely everything, and to come back through from last place to score some points in eighth in Pro-Am was a fantastic result.

"It's been quite a frustrating year in the sense we've had the pace for the podium every weekend, but a few little things got in the way and that's the difference in a championship as close and competitive as Blancpain. The guys in the team did an incredible job though with the car all year, and again this weekend, and they deserve a huge amount of credit for a very strong season."

Devon Modell: 
"It has been a difficult and unfortunate season in the Blancpain Endurance Series, but it has been error-free from mine, Ahmad's, Jonny's perspectives and it's comforting to know that we could have been looking at a very different picture had luck been on our side.

"However, it's all experience and playing a part in achieving Motorbase Performance's best result at Silverstone was a very proud moment. All-in-all I feel Ahmad, Jonny and I have gelled really well as teammates, Motorbase performed brilliantly and I feel I'm a better and well-rounded driver because of the experiences I've accumulated this year.

"Ultimately, the Blancpain Endurance Series is the hardest championship of its kind in the world and it's positive that we can say we've had missed opportunities, as it shows the quality and ambition within the team."