Second place for TF Sport in snowed-out 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
Snow, rain, hail and freezing temperatures graced the ever-eventful 6 Hours of Spa on Saturday. TF Sport celebrated a strong weekend by rounding out the weekend as runners up.
Having qualified on pole position for the first time in the series with a combined 2:16.061, we were set-up for an exciting race. Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc paired up to the set the time with Euan Hankey completing the weekend’s team.
Salih took the wheels for the first stint where he retained the lead through the immediate pit-stops after a safety car was brought out for the impeding heavy snow. At the restart, the #90 dropped to fifth place and before the second safety car was brought out due to debris, Salih was brought in for fresh tyres and a dose of fuel playing for the undercut.
With the weather still playing havoc with the circuit, Salih ran an impressive run clawing back previously-lost positions. As a full course yellow was shown, the Turkish driver pitted once again, this time from fourth place and Euan jumped in.
Despite there being a large gap to the leading three, the Vantage was lapping rapidly and the possibility of a podium was in touching distance. With the race coming back to us, Charlie took over from Euan with three hours left to run.
Like Salih, Charlie had the snow to battle with and as it fell thicker and faster, the safety car was brought out for the third time. With the leaders making a stop Charlie rounded out the first corner in the lead, but with one-stop left to make, it became a closely-fought race with the Dempsey #77.
Although the lead was lost, Charlie clung to the back of the Porsche and made one final stop before the red flag was shown, concluding our race as runners up and podium number four of the season.
Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director:
“It was a hard race. I don’t think we did a lot wrong, other than possibly picking the wrong tyre for Salih’s first stint, which was a 50/50. Then after that it we had a good run; it was just the Porsche was very quick in the wet and we were never going to beat it. Maybe if it had dried up we could have been up there, but generally we’re very happy. We came here to make the championship gap smaller and we’ve done that, which keeps the championship going until Le Mans. I think for anyone going into their first year of WEC, to win the title at the final round in Le Mans you’d be very happy. So we’re very excited to see what happens.”
“It was a difficult day for us with the weather. I wasn't comfortable with the first set of tyres but after that everything seemed to get a bit better. I'm just happy we held onto a solid position, to keep us in the championship battle. The car feels great so I'm excited going into the final race at Le Mans.”
"I got the easiest conditions with the shortest amount of time and had a nice dry stint for the hour. The car was good, and we got amongst the fight with some of the pro cars which made it a little difficult to get any rhythm, but other than that everything was fine. Then I boxed the car to Charlie, and he hung on in there in some rough conditions similar to Salih and we then got the P2 so I’m super happy.”
“I had every tyre compound we had, from slicks to intermediates, to wets and a lot of time under the safety car. Yet even under the safety car with the snow and hail it was very difficult to keep it on the track, with a lot of aquaplaning. Of course we didn’t want to finish second again, but with a race like that it’s a good result. So many people went off and so much could have gone wrong, so we can’t be disheartened with a podium. We’re still in contention for the championship going into Le Mans. We obviously still need a massive result there, but that was the plan coming here, to try and stay in contention and close the gap to the leaders and we’re happy to have done that today.”