GT OPEN VICE-CHAMPIONS CLAIM ANOTHER DOUBLE PODIUM AT SEASON FINALE

PUBLISHED 02/11/2020
TAGS International GT Open, Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood, Aston Martin New GT3

TF Sport claimed their third victory of the season and a third place finish at the 2020 International GT Open finale last weekend, at Circuit de Catalunya Barcelona. This has resulted in Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood taking second position in the overall championship standings.

 

It was a perfect start to the weekend for the TF duo, as Yoluc set the fastest time in the bronze driver practice run and this was followed up by Charlie placing at the top of the timesheets in FP2. The team then made the decision to sit out the third practice session, in favour of prepping the Vantage for Saturday’s qualifying.

 

For the third time this season, Eastwood placed the #34 on pole position for the penultimate race. The TF pro had a flying start and managed to pull a big enough gap to the pack behind, to offset the 10-second handicap, carried over from Spa. However, bad luck struck when a safety car was called and undid Charlie's hard work. A stellar restart by the pro saw him, once again, create a healthy lead before handing the Vantage over to teammate Yoluc.

 

Success penalty served, Salih headed out and wasted no time in increasing his front runner advantage. Disappointment hit once again when another safety car was called, bunching up the GT Open grid. Despite falling down the order courtesy of a forceful pass by a McLaren, Salih avoided wayward competitors and fought his way back towards the front, to cross the line in a podium finishing position. This was enough to ensure #34 remained in the title fight.

 

Unfortunately, GT4 traffic and a red flag marred Salih’s qualifying potential on Sunday, leaving #34 to line up seventh for the grand finale. The duo were ready to go all out, in their last GT Open race of the year.

 

A clean start was had and the leading seven cars broke away from the rest of the pack. Yoluc had a relatively uneventful stint and held station before handing over to teammate Eastwood. After serving the retained 10-second success penalty, Charlie was on a mission to the front of the pack.

 

With five minutes remaining, Eastwood had carved his way up to third position, but was still nine seconds behind the battling duo of Abril and Ramos. A twist in the closing stages, as a safety car was called when the fellow championship contenders clashed and the #59 McLaren spun into the gravel.

 

Eastwood crossed the line just behind Abril, however the #17 Ferrari had a time penalty for a pit stop infringement, which promoted #34 to race victory, the team’s third of the season.

 

TF Sport celebrated a total of three pole positions, three wins and eight podium finishes within the compact, three-month long programme.

 

The championship standings remain provisional until all appeals have been finalised by the officials.

 

Tom Ferrier, Team Owner - “Its been a successful year in International GT Open and for Charlie and Salih to achieve at least one podium finish at every round, is an impressive feat. It’s also a great testament to our crew that we didn’t have a single pit stop infringement or mechanical issue all year. We shall have to wait a while to find out our final championship position, but I’m proud of the team for what they have accomplished in this difficult and unusual season.”