Al Harthy ready to embrace added pressure

Muscat: This weekend the region’s leading drivers will compete in the final round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season 6 as part of the official 2015 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit with the driver’s and team championship title winners still to be determined.

For those local racing drivers with a chance of winning including Oman’s Ahmad al Harthy it is a huge opportunity to both collect silverware in the Middle East’s only professional series and enhance reputations in front of some of motorsport’s most influential people. It is the ultimate test.

Porsche driver Al Harthy who needs to secure valuable points alongside team-mate Clemens Schmid to secure the team championship will be asked to be at his very best on the biggest stage of all while controlling emotions, nerves and adrenaline.

The prestigious team category sees a straight fight for the title between current reigning champions Al Nabooda Racing (Clemens Schmid and Ahmad al Harthy — 351 points) and Skydive Dubai Falcons (Hasher al Maktoum and Saeed al Mehairi — 343 points).

Speaking ahead of practice, Walter Lechner, Manager of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: “For drivers and fans of local motorsport this Porsche series has served up the ideal scenario. Ten years ago Porsche first supported the F1 in Bahrain. So it’s very special to now have the deciding final round of a dedicated Middle East championship witnessed by full grandstands as the world of motorsport looks on.

“This is when drivers will feel the pressure and whoever can handle that pressure best will be victorious. For some who embrace the opportunity it will be a dream scenario, sadly for others it could feel like a nightmare. But this is when the best standout. Whoever wins will deserve it.”

As an official support race 2015 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix driver track time will be hugely reduced compared to usual Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East weekends. The Porsche drivers will have to share the track with both Formula 1 and GP2 series, resulting in only one practice and one qualifying session for both races. Adding further intensity to the pressure faced by drivers and teams.

Speaking ahead of practice Ahmad al Harthy said: “I cannot wait to race. It’s been a few months since the last round in Dubai but I’ve been racing in the British Championship and feel well prepared for Bahrain. This weekend is extra special since supporting the Formula 1. It’s a big boost to know you’re sharing the same track as the biggest names in motorsport.

“I guess it’s a bit like a footballer playing at Wembley. It’s still football, same rules but when competing in such an environment there is an excitement in the air. You know everyone is watching, it’s a chance to impress and prove your talent. Plus the title is on the line. We’ve worked hard all season and are determined to retain the title.


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