A solid lap from the Oman Racing Team (ORT) pair of Ahmad al Harthy and Daniel Lloyd helped the Motorbase Aston Martin take third place during the qualifying race for the third round of the British GT Championship at Rockingham, UK on Saturday.

With just 0.1 seconds the difference between Ahmad and Lloyd in their respective qualifying sessions on Saturday, the duo – in their Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 – ended the run with a combined best of 2m47.811s.

Alexander Sims and defending champion Marco Attard bagged the pole in their Ecurie Ecosse BMW with an aggregate time of 2m46.786s.

The Beechdean Aston Martin pair of Jonathan Adam and Andrew Howard completed the front row for the two-hour main race in a qualifying time of 2m47.197s.

Ahmad and Lloyd managed to sneak up to the third place by a tenth of a second as the TF Sport car of Derek Johnston and Matt Bell settled for a time of 2m47.969s.

In fifth place was the second ORT entry featuring Liam Griffin and Rory Butcher.

Ahmad lapped during the first of two ten-minute sessions and was a mere 0.05 seconds away from ending the run with the fastest time at that point, his best lap of 1m23.964s placing him in second place on the time sheets.

During Lloyd’s run, the Briton posted a quickest time of 1m23.847s to go ninth fastest in his session.

The Ahmad-Lloyd combination has to run with a significant amount of added weight as part of the championship’s regulations, but the Omani racer sounded confident after the qualifying race.

“I am really happy with my qualifying lap,” Ahmad said. “We believe we have a strong set-up for the race, so we worked hard on the car for qualifying to try and get as much performance as we could. I am very happy to be third on the grid.

“It’s a respectable position to start from. The weight we have to carry does hurt us still, but we are in better shape than we were in the first round.”

The Muscat-based racer added, “We are confident ahead of the race, we are starting near the front where we need to. Dan (Lloyd) and I know what we have to do. We want to score as many points as we can, so we need to be consistent and stay out of trouble.”

SOURCE: Muscat Daily