PODIUM SUCCESS FOR DINAN AND FOLEY AT GT OPEN DEBUT
2020 International GT Open Vice Champions, TF Sport, returned to the ultra-competitive GT3 field at Spa Francorchamps last weekend. The American duo, Robby Foley and Michael Dinan soon made a positive impression in their debut, taking an overall podium finish in the opening race, but a puncture dashed their chances of a second visit.
Having never stepped foot in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 before, or been round the twists and turns of the Ardennes, Dinan and Foley utilised the practice sessions on the Friday to become familiar with their charger for the weekend.
Saturday saw Dinan take the start of race one from the second row, P4, where the Silver driver had qualified earlier that day. Unfortunately, multiple safety car periods denied Dinan the chance to progress through the field.
After serving a timed handicap for being a new entrant, Foley enjoyed some stellar door-to-door racing in the latter half of the 70-minute battle and climbed through the order to cross the line in second place.
The Pro class team were keen to repeat their performance on the Sunday. Foley obliged by placing the #97 Vantage GT3 in third position for the race start and yet again, battled hard and stayed glued to his competitors throughout his 30-minute stint.
A success penalty was added to TF Sport’s stop from the previous race’s result, but Dinan returned to the track in third and another trip to the podium was looking certain, until disaster struck in the form of a rear left puncture. After pitting for a replacement, Dinan headed back on track in P10, where he remained until the flag.
The American duo will return to the International GT Open grid in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3, at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya on October 23-24.
Tom Ferrier, Team Owner - “We couldn’t have asked for much more from Michael and Robby. They both got up to speed with not only the car, but the super-technical circuit that is Spa, very quickly. Both had strong qualifying sessions and only missed out on a second visit to the podium out of pure bad luck. Looking forward to having them back in the car at Barcelona and hopefully they can push again for some good results.“
Michael Dinan, Silver driver - “It was great to race in Europe for the first time. Spa has been one of my bucket list tracks my entire life and to finally go there and get to race was a special experience. We had realistic expectations going into the weekend, and Robby and I were both very happy to get a second place finish overall and to step up onto the podium. It was a fantastic result for our first time racing at Spa and our first time in the Aston Vantage GT3. The entire team did a great job and a huge thanks to all the guys for their hard work. The car handled really well and Robby had a great drive as always, so thanks to him for bringing it home!”
Robby Foley, Silver driver - “A great debut weekend at Spa for Michael and I! There were a lot of unknowns coming into the weekend, a new track, new car and new team, but everything went really smoothly. We got up to speed quickly and showed that we had the pace finishing a strong P2 in the first race. Unfortunately in race two we were unlucky with a puncture, while running in a podium position. Thanks to the team for making us feel welcome and giving us a competitive car. Overall very happy with the weekend and can’t wait to be back!”