Abu Dhabi: His car number is 41 and it is a choice made by Omani champion driver Ahmad Al Harthy for the 2011 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
This year is the 41st anniversary of the creation of the Sultanate of Oman and Al Harthy wants to use this season to highlight his country on the international stage.
"41 years of Oman and my car number is 41 too. I want to carry the message of Oman as a peace-loving country around the world wherever I travel," Al Harthy told Gulf News after winning Sunday's fourth round of the 2011-12 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Sunday's win was the first one for the debuting Omani driver, who has the sponsorship of Oman Air with additional backing from Nawras, National Bank of Oman, Brand Oman, the Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and the Oman Ministry of Tourism.
"This win is such a great moment for me and my country and I want to dedicate this to Sultan Qaboos and the people of my country," he said.
"I hope there will be many such occasions when I will be able to hear the national anthem of Oman at the end of the race," the 30-year-old added.
A lot of promise
Al Harthy's car racing experience came five years ago when he was a member of the Bahrain-based Thunder Arabia Championship. He showed a lot of promise ending up as the runner-up in the championship with two race wins and ten podiums in 14 races.
His next challenge was the demanding Formula Renault Barc Championship in Great Britain in 2007. One of his personal highlights last season was his involvement in the Porsche Carrera Cup France — one of the support events to the legendary Le Mans 24-Hour Race.
His participation, however, was notable for another reason — the Porsche race marked the 40th anniversary of the marque's first Le Mans 24-Hour victory which coincided with the 40th anniversary of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said's reign in Oman.
Earlier this year, Al Harthy made history on the streets of Muscat by conducting passenger rides in a Porsche 911 GT3 race in conjunction with the Royal Oman Police and the Oman Automobile Association. "My achievement has been even sweeter as I have won in the UAE which is a second home for me. I am glad I can celebrate here," Al Harthy said.
"But the road is long and I am determined to succeed. Racing means everything to me and I will do everything to ensure the Oman flag flies high," he vouched.