Muscat: Global integrated energy company OQ on Wednesday announced its newest strategic partnership – support of Omani racing champion Ahmad Al Harthy, ahead of his welcome return to competitive action this coming weekend in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship.
Oman Racing’s Al Harthy, who will join British GT at Snetterton this Saturday, 7th August, and Sunday, 8th August, with Aston Martin works driver Charlie Eastwood, is proud to confirm the key partnership with homegrown company OQ which has operations across 17 countries.
Headquartered in the Sultanate’s capital city Muscat, OQ – founded in 2019 – is wholly owned by the Omani Government. Already firmly established as a thriving business in the energy sector, in addition to its work with traditional fuels OQ also focuses on the expansion of alternative energies.
Covering the entire value chain, from energy exploration and production through to marketing and distribution of end-user products, pioneering company OQ invests in power generation, energy transportation and infrastructure.
Maryam Al Shaibany, Leader Corporate Identity and Culture in OQ, commented: “We are excited to provide our support to one of our talented Omani champions in motor sports, Ahmad Al Harthy, and we are looking forward to supporting his endeavours in the upcoming racing events.
“This support comes as part of our firm commitment to empower Omani youth in all fields, and to enable them to compete and raise the Oman flag in international sport competitions. OQ will continue to cheer for Ahmad and join-in his winning titles.”
Expressing his delight with the new partnership, Al Harthy said: “I’m obviously delighted to welcome OQ to our programme as a very important strategic partner, and looking forward to working together as Oman Racing returns to the track this weekend in British GT at Snetterton. We share the same synergies and philosophy with our approach and professionalism. OQ, like Oman Racing, is a homegrown success story, growing out of Oman and into Europe and beyond.
“I’m very proud to welcome the support of another Omani company into our racing programme as we compete in some of the globe’s largest, and most competitive, championships. OQ is a natural partner for Oman Racing with our shared concepts of excellence, thinking big and aiming high. Our joint pursuit of success for Oman on the international stage is something we’re all very proud of.”
OQ joins fellow homegrown company Omantel as a confirmed partner of Al Harthy and Oman Racing for the remainder of 2021, and the multiple championship-winning Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driver is expected to announce additional racing plans shortly.
Two-time Blancpain Endurance Cup [now GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup] Pro-Am Champion Al Harthy, title victor in 2017 and 2019, last raced back in February in the rescheduled Asian Le Mans Series at Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Prior to the emergence of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Al Harthy was set to mount a title challenge in British GT – where he steered Oman Racing to the Team Championship crown in 2014 and won the Silver Cup class the following year.
With the coronavirus halting those plans, he didn’t then compete until October last year in the International GT Open at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Starring after approximately a year away from competitive action, Al Harthy – with then team-mate Tom Canning – delivered a dream victory in the Pro-Am class of the pan-European category.
Prior to his full-time move to endurance racing in 2013, Al Harthy won his first motor racing title in the ranks of the highly competitive Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship in 2021, taking the coveted Pro-Am1 class crown. Among a glittering trophy cabinet, perhaps Al Harthy’s most prized possession is the Pro-Am class winner’s trophy from the 2019 Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Now, Al Harthy is ready to try and hit the ground running at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk this weekend as he returns to British GT. Following two officially timed practice sessions on Saturday, 7th August, qualifying will follow at 15.55 local time.
On Sunday, 8th August, after a brief 15-minute morning warm-up session, race one of the weekend will get underway at 10.40 local time with race two set to start at 15.45 – both will be contested over a duration of one hour.