TF Sport proud of ELMS record as season concludes in Portimão
TF Sport wrapped its first season in the European Le Mans Series on Sunday (22 October) at Portimão with another strong performance that netted a hard-fought third place finish. Despite all the efforts of the team and drivers, the championship slipped away but that takes nothing away from what was a great season as they ran the title to the wire.
Salih Yoluc took to the start #90 Aston Martin GTE in fifth position and made a good start to maintain position, surviving the lurid opening laps, which included a full course yellow, but unfortunately not the safety car that could have played to the team’s tactics.
Euan Hankey took over for his first of two stints, in fourth position quickly closing on the #77 Porsche and claiming third position on the track with a great pass for position. Hankey completed his stint and Nicki Thiim was tasked with closing the gap to the two cars ahead. With the #55 Ferrari suffering a mechanical failure, Thiim back in third position, again chasing the #77 Porsche ahead. Despite his very best efforts, Thiim was unable to make the move.
The race played out and TF Sport finished the final race of the year in third position to cap off a very strong first season in the championship.
Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director
“First of all, let’s congratulate everyone involved in what has been a tough, difficult but ultimately a successful campaign in the ELMS. We led the championship right from the start through to the final round, so naturally it’s disappointing not to win the championship. We had hoped for a safety car in the opening stint and that would have opened up a whole lot of options strategy-wise, but it wasn’t to be.
“We pushed as hard as we could with very good drivers, but sometimes you can only do what you do. Congratulations to the team, it’s been a great year and one we are very proud of.”
Euan Hankey, driver #90 S
“We shouldn’t be disappointed in our performances as a team or as drivers; we did the absolute best that we can but I don’t think we were given a very fair crack at it. Nicki Thiim is a perfect example of what we faced and as far as I’m concerned, he’s one of the best drivers on the planet. Then he’s made to look average in qualifying due to the BoP, so it’s not exactly ideal. But we did our best and nothing else can change that.”
Nicki Thiim, driver #90 P
“I’m still smiling as there are much worse things in life. It’s a hard one and we finished P2 after leading for the whole year and it’s been a great season with TF Sport and Aston Martin. We got a bit screwed in the first hour as the full course yellow came out and we had to leave Salih out while some of the others pitted - that cost us a minute. So, we had the gap and we chased and did all we could. We’re P2 in the European championship and it’s been a great season. Thank you all for the great support.”