TF Sport return to winning ways at Donington Park
TF Sport returned to the top spot after Graham Davidson and Jonny Adam dominated a thrilling race at Donington Park.
The Scottish duo scored back-to-back pole positions, while the sister GT3 of Nicki Thiim and Mark Farmer slotted into the top eight.
Graham maintained the lead of the race and had soon bought himself a nine second lead having set a succession of fastest laps within the opening laps. Mark however fell victim to the pack and lost a handful of places after a brief off, to end up in 12th.
After the pit stops Jonny returned in the lead of the race in the #47 while Nicki returned to the track a lap down, but within the top ten. On a mission for bragging rights, Nicki started to set some rapid laps on a quest to beat the lap record he set last year.
On his way, he began to catch the leaders including the sister GT3 who had begun to suffer with its brakes. Jonny managed the late pressure from the Balfe Motorsport – and Nicki – to cross the line three seconds clear, to convert their pole position into a race win; reviving their championship hopes.
Nicki crossed the line in ninth overall to take home a handful of points and the fastest lap of the race – and lap record – of a 1:27:948.
The team closes the gap in the championship to the leading Barwell Motorsport, as Jonny and Graham elevate in the driver's championship to third. Nicki and Mark sit in sixth in the championship with three rounds remaining.
Graham Davidson #47
“It was fantastic, it’s nice to get the win straight after what happened at Silverstone. We had a great qualifying and a great first stint and then I passed it to Jonny, and he did a fantastic job. It was a different setup for this weekend, but it seemed to work really well which allowed us to carry a good pace. Everything went to plan and it’s so good to get my first win with the team and put us back in the championship fight.”
Nicki Thiim #2
“We were one lap behind when I got into the car, so I didn’t really expect to be doing anything other than bringing the car home. I just went out there to enjoy myself and have some fun. The car was great, it felt really good. Graham and Jonny won so it’s great for the team and I got the fastest lap at the end, so the pace of the car is great we just need some more stability. I’m really looking forward to Spa, it’s always great to go there and hopefully we can get some more points.”
Donington Park always produces a thrilling race and in one of British GTs largest ever grids, this round was no exception.
Josh Price and Patrick Kibble lapped the Derbyshire circuit in a time fit for 13th while Tom Canning and Ash Hand snuck into the top nine.
At the start, both cars were on a mission to progress early on. Ash in the #97 had jumped up to tenth and the #95 was in pursuit.
Unfortunately contact with another car forced an early pitstop for the #95. But with bent steering the repair job was lengthy, and the car returned to the race six laps down. Ash in the #97 however, had chased down ninth place and soon found rhythm in the Aston Martin to be one of the quickest GT4s on track.
After the pit stops, Tom returned to the race in sixth place and begun to catch the top five. Patrick joined at the back of the pack in the recovering #95 but utilised valuable track time to further understand the season-new GT4 Aston.
With other cars faltering around the team towards the end of the race, Ash and Tom were promoted to fifth place overall and fourth in the Silver Cup. They have elevated into the top five in the overall GT4 standings and come away from the weekend with the maximum points haul with no penalties to take into Spa.
Patrick and Josh leave Donington Park empty-handed having ended the race 12th in class, but the pair head to Belgium next month knowing the car is in good form to take a good result. TF Sport maintain fourth in the GT4 team’s championship as momentum takes full swing.
Ash Hand #97
“Our pace was great. We started really well and moved up to ninth. We knew it was going to be a struggle at the start to get through the grid quickly, and its almost impossible to overtake cars in front like the BMW who have so much speed on the straights. So we just had to bide our time until we could get passed, and then once we did we started setting fast laps. We showed our pace and considering we started ninth, to finish fifth overall and fourth in class, it’s great. I think this is the turning point for Tom and I, we’re starting to get to grips with the car and we’re bonding even more and seem to work very well together. Now it’s just a case of being consistent to keep ourselves in contention with three rounds left and I think we’ll be able to fight at the front. I couldn’t be happier right now, I'm really looking forward to Spa.”
TF Sport Director, Tom Ferrier
“It’s nice to have converted the pole position and get back to winning ways. It was a tough race for Jonny at the end who was struggling with brakes, so it was a bit nail-biting for us. I’m very happy with the performance of the team this weekend. Mark’s two spins set back the other GT3, but their pace was excellent, and I think we’re on track to have a strong second-half to the season. Josh had contact and suffered some bent steering so was in the pits for a while for the repairs work which was unlucky, but Ash and Tom in the #97 did brilliantly to finish fourth with the pit-stop penalty as well. I am very happy to have the team back to on the top step, especially after Silverstone, so we go to the next round very hopeful of a good result with all cars.”