In relatively short period of time, Ahmad Al Harthy became one of the best-known and most successful racing drivers from the Middle East.
Late start of the career
He was born on 31st of August, 1981 in Muscat, the capital city of Oman. His career had a path different compared to other drivers. As a boy, Ahmad had some karting experience but his real racing career started in Al Harthy’s twenties. In 2006, he became the first Omani racing driver competing in single seaters. His rookie season in Thunder Arabia Championship was very good because he finished the season as a vice-champion. With a lot of confidence, Al Harthy decided to go abroad.
Ahmad Al Harthy
Al Harthy was 2009 Formula Renault vice-champion
Next destination was Great Britain where Ahmad entered Formula Renault Championship. The Omanese racer spent three pretty good seasons in the championship. In 2007, driving for Hillspeed team, Ahmad scored a couple of podium finishes but that was only a beginning of his journey. In 2008, Al Harthy moved up to the fifth position in the championship while in 2009, his final season in the series, he was a runner-up.
Ahmad Al Harthy, Formula Renault, 2008
Ahmad Al Harthy switched to the sportscars racing
Ultimately, that was his last year in single-seaters as Al Harthy switched to sportscars. Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain was the next challenge for the Omani driver. He signed with Redline Racing and did a good job, finishing 11th overall and 4th in Pro-Am Class 1. Ahmad proved that he is capable of achieving bigger things and got the proper financial backing of the sponsors from his homeland.
Ahmad spent three years in Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain
His second season in Porsche Carrera Cup GB was another step forward. His team was renamed after lucrative financial backing by Oman Air and other sponsors from Oman, including Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Sports Affairs. On the track, Al Harthy scored two wins and other 10 podiums and finished 3rd in Pro-Am Class 1. He also made a debut in Porsche Supercup during the round at Silverstone. In November Ahmad drew attention after he has won Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East race which was a supporting event for the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ahmad Al Harthy was crowned as a 2012 Porsche Carrera GB champion
Before the start of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB campaign, Omani driver was rightfully considered as one of the title favorites and during the season he completely met the expectations. Ahmad won 12 out of 20 races that year, added five more podium finishes and grabbed the trophy in a great style.
Al Harthy driving Oman Air's Porsche
Three years in British GT Championship
After he reached the top in Porsche Carrera Cup, Ahmad switched to endurance racing, driving in British GT Championship and Blancpain GT Series. He signed with Motorbase Performance team, sponsored by Oman Air. Driving a Porsche 997 GT3-R alongside the reigning British GT champion Michael Caine, Al Harthy won the races at Snetterton and Zandvoort, finished 5th in the championship, failing to collect points in only one race.
Michael Caine and Ahmad Al Harthy, British GT
The following year was even better. The Muscat-born driver and Caine switched to Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and narrowly missed the title in the final race of the season. They won the races at Oulton Park and Silverstone and finished 2nd at Spa and Brands Hatch but they were still 10 points short of winning the battle against Ecurie Ecosse’s Marco Attard. The season of 2015 wasn’t as good and Al Harthy failed to win a single race, so he had to settle for 8th place in the Drivers’ championship and left British GT at the end of the year.
Racing in the Blancpain GT Series
In the Blancpain Endurance Series, Al Harthy also had some success. In 2013, he drove for ARC Bratislava alongside Slovakian driver Miroslav Konopka. The two managed to win the Gentlemen class race at Silverstone and they took 15th place in the final standings of Drivers’ championship. Driving for Oman Racing team in 2014, he repeated a result from the previous year and again finished 15th in the standings, but failed to win the race. Unfortunately, in 2015, Ahmad’s results were relatively poor and he dropped to 26th place overall.
Al Harthy, Blancpain GT Series 2016
In 2016, Al Harthy stayed in the Blancpain GT Series with Oman Racing Team and despite some ups and downs, he has a good chance to finish in Top 3 in the Pro-Am Cup.