RACING TEAM TURKEY SCORES DEBUT ELMS VICTORY AT PAUL RICARD
In only their third prototype race, the TF Sport-run crew stood on the top step of the European Le Mans Series podium, as Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Harry Tincknell claimed the Pro Am win, in the Racing Team Turkey LMP2 at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, last weekend.
Coming off the back of their overall pole position and debut LMP2 Pro Am podium at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, TF Sport headed to the third round of the 2021 European Le Mans series with a view of continuing their latest successes.
The Racing Team Turkey crew utilised the practice sessions leading up to the weekend to perfect set up, and with Eastwood making his debut LMP2 qualifying run, the team were hopeful for a solid grid position. Despite a red flag marring Charlie’s first hot lap, he managed to post a time good enough for third in class and well within the top-10 overall.
A superb start by Salih saw him gain two places before turn one. Despite being hit into a spin and losing track position, a great recovery drive by Yoluç meant that he was able to hand over to Charlie, still with a chance of fighting for the podium.
Stellar stints by both Eastwood and Tincknell saw them carve through the field and Harry took the flag to secure Pro Am honours for the Turkish entry.
Another strong weekend was had for the #95 GTE trio. Pro charger Ross Gunn set the pace for the weekend by placing the Vantage in P1 during the first free practice session and then went on to secure the class pole position, by 0.120s over the rest of the GTE field.
Hancock had a stellar opening stint and managed to create a 25-second lead over the remaining GTE field, but this unfortunately went unrewarded due to a safety car being called. A healthy gap was pushed for before Ollie handed over to John who, once again, showed a solid improvement in his performance.
It was then Gunn’s job to close up towards the pack ahead and despite having to take an extra stop to replace a puncture, the #95 Pro crossed the line in seventh.
Round four of the 2021 European Le Mans Series will take place at Monza, Italy, 10/11 July.
Tom Ferrier, Team Owner - “We’ve had a very successful weekend on both sides of the garage. #95’s GTE pole position was a great starting point for the race and meant Ollie could create a comfy gap before handing over to John. We were just unlucky with the safety car! To get Racing Team Turkey’s first win, less than half way through their first season is brilliant, and proves how much hard work has been put in by everybody to make this a successful programme.”
Harry Tincknell, #34 Platinum driver - “It’s fantastic to get Racing Team Turkey and TF Sport’s first class win in prototypes. Charlie and Salih did a fantastic job to set the race up, obviously there was some safety cars and full course yellows to navigate. We‘re a brand new team in this category and only being three races in to a long-term programme, it’s an amazing achievement to get an overall pole position at Red Bull Ring, now the first class win and another top-six overall, especially when racing against teams who have many years of experience!”
Ross Gunn, #95 Gold driver - “Really pleased with the steps forward that we’ve made this weekend. John’s lap times during the race were a huge improvement from the start of the season and he is progressing each time he gets in the car. Ollie did a great job at the start, but we were a little bit unlucky with the safety car timing and then with the puncture. The car has been awesome to drive, which is usual for TF Sport and claiming the pole position backs this up! Following our upward trajectory, the aim for Monza is to go a place or two higher.”