LIGHTS-TO-FLAG VICTORY AND GT OPEN PODIUM FOR DE HAAN’S TF SPORT VANTAGE DEBUT
Sam De Haan scored two podium finishes, including a lights-to-flag victory, during last weekend’s International GT Open races at the Red Bull Ring, alongside Charlie Eastwood in the Pro class. It was De Haan’s debut not only with TF Sport, but also in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
The duo’s suspected pace was proved early on, when the #69 Vantage ran at the top on the time sheets during the practice sessions. De Haan qualified in fifth for the first race of the weekend and took the pink and green machine through a solid opening stint, making up a position on the opening lap and then fending off the rest of the field before handing over to Eastwood.
Charlie took the wheel not long before the weather took a turn, and did a great job to carve his way up the order, to second place, in tough conditions, on slick tyres. The rain became much heavier and standing water caused chaos for the GT Open field, as multiple cars, including the #69 Aston Martin, slid into the gravel. As the race was red flagged, the result was taken from the previous lap, meaning De Haan and Eastwood claimed a P2 finish.
With the roles reversed for race two, it was Eastwood who took qualifying honours on the Sunday and wasted no time in setting purple sectors to claim a comfortable pole position. Eastwood got away to a great start and managed to escape from the pack behind, handing the Vantage GT3 over to De Haan at the halfway mark, with a 9 second lead.
Despite having to serve a success penalty from the first race, the slick pit stop by the TF Sport crew saw De Haan head back on track with the race lead firmly in his grasp and from then on, it was the Silver driver’s task to bring the contender home.
Sam impressed with his consistent lap times and brought the Vantage to the flag to take his first victory in the British marque.
Tom Ferrier, Team Owner - “We couldn’t have asked for a better car and team debut for Sam this weekend. To claim two podiums, including a win, in a car he isn’t familiar with, is superb. As always, Charlie was able to get the best out of his team mate and the crew were faultless. This was a one-off GT Open event with Sam, but its given us a great insight to what we can achieve in the future.”
Sam De Haan, Silver Driver - “It is great to be back here at the Red Bull Ring, and to take 2nd-place in the opening race and then improve to take a lights-to-flag win in the second is fantastic. It was a new challenge coming here racing with the Aston Martin for the first time, but I love the circuit, TF Sport know the car better than most, and Charlie did a great job all weekend. Between us, it was a great combination, and I am really pleased that we could get the results. Race 2 was much more straightforward than the chaos with the rain in the opening race!”
Charlie Eastwood, Gold Driver - “Great first weekend for SDH with TF Sport at RBR. WE had a great result on Saturday with P2, getting quite fortunate with the red flag. The big push was to try and win the main race on Sunday. I got off to a great start and was able to build a nice gap and Sam did a great job to maintain it all the way to the checkered flag. Super happy, it was great for myself to get back onto the top step and also for Sam to take his first win of the year!”