TF Sport return to the podium in second round of British GT
TF Sport enjoyed a clean weekend during the second round of British GT with a podium in both GT3 and GT4; as the team returned to Snetterton on a mission to revive their championship hopes.
The start of race one proved problematic, but Graham avoided the spinning Century Motorsport at the hairpin to maintain eighth and dodge trouble. However, the #2 wasn’t so fortunate after Mark was hit by one of the Lamborghini’s sending him off road and out of position.
By lap 11, Graham had moved up to ninth overall and Mark was on the brink of the top ten. But after the pitstops both GT3s merited and Jonny moved up to fourth in the #47 by passing the Balfe Motorsport.
With minutes left on the clock, the #47 moved up into third and begun a battle with the #7 Bentley for second place, whilst defending the other Bentley (JRM Racing). Though the #31 initially snuck into third sneaking past Jonny, the team benefitted from a mishap, with a GT4 and the two Bentleys squabbling which allowed Jonny to race to the line to take back third. Nicki crossed the line in sixth.
Race two looked promising with Nicki starting on pole and Jonny among the top seven. The duo maintained position at the start, holding off pressure from the cars behind them. The Mercedes tucked in behind Nicki but the Dane was able to open a small gap.
As the pit stops came into play, Mark maintained the lead and Graham re-joined in seventh. Unfortunately for the #2, the Lamborghini was just too quick to keep behind and on lap 22, Mark dropped to second and ultimately finished in fourth just ahead of Graham who had promoted himself into fifth.
“We were unlucky to have two costly hits in race one that really set us back, but we were able to have reasonable pace despite the heavy damage to the rear. Race two fell apart, really. Nicki did a great job of creating a big gap for us and for getting the pole position, too. I just didn’t have the speed and it’s disappointing that the race didn’t end where it should have. ”
"It was a challenging weekend. The first race I had a great start and got alongside the McLaren, but the Optimum hit the McLaren which ultimately hit me as well and I went onto the grass which was frustrating. But I carried on and kept the car on track and watched a lot of cars in front of me have issues. Jonny did really well to climb through and take the podium. Race two went well and we made progress again. I caught and passed the Mercedes and one of the Bentleys and maybe with one more lap I could have caught Mark. But all things considered, to come away with a third and a fifth I am pretty happy, especially to have gotten my first podium with TF and Jonny. ”
With 26 of the 36 cars participating in the British GT, it was a record-breaking GT4 entry season. Having qualified inside the top ten for both races with both cars, TF Sport were set-up for a strong weekend.
Despite losing places at the start of race one, Ash became one of the fastest GT4s on track lapping almost six tenths quicker than those ahead and soon moved up to P11 in class. Josh in the #95 remained in the top six at the start but was hit by the McLaren dropping him to the back of the pack.
After the pit-stops Tom and Patrick lapped in formation as the duo rounded out the 2.9 mile circuit in eighth and tenth place in class.
Grey clouds shadowed the circuit in race two and with intermittent light rain, the team remained hopeful about securing a good result. At the start, Tom held the lead in class while Patrick slotted into ninth. Fighting through the field and putting in some quick laps to stay within touching distance of the leading GT4s, Tom was able to hand the car over to Ash in a solid position.
The #95 re-joined in ninth with Josh at the wheel and he soon cleared off the #19 to move up to eighth. With the #57 receiving a stop-go penalty, Ash was promoted to first place in class and second in GT4 overall; and despite being overtaken by one of the Bentley’s, Ash was promoted once again, after the McLaren was also handed a stop-go penalty.
Last-minute shock saw the leading GT4 slowing with a puncture allowing Ash to move up to second place - in class and GT4 overall - on the penultimate lap.
“It’s been one of those weekends, a mix of emotions. We started off really fast in practice but as we went on it seemed to take a little dip. Our qualifying could have been better with the fourteenth, but Tom did great with the P2. To be honest, overall I couldn’t be happier. To be back on the podium with such little seat time in the car; the team did a great job and the Aston held its own in the end, so I’m really happy. ”
“I'm really happy with how this weekend has gone, we've scored some really strong points with second and sixth in class. I think it's a really positive weekend for us and its nice to bounce back after a hard weekend at Oulton. Really pleased to have scored my first British GT podium, onto the next one...”
Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director
“Much better weekend. I think it went quite well. It’s nice to come away with two podiums and have all four cars finish both races. There’s a lot of positives to take from this weekend, but we’re just not quite there yet, but we are getting better and that’s the main thing."