TF SPORT SECURES GTE AM VICE-CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2019/20 FIA WEC SEASON 8
TF Sport, Salih Yoluc, Jonny Adam and Charlie Eastwood narrowly missed out on the FIA World Endurance Championship LMGTE AM title, at the 2019/20 finale in Bahrain. A brake issue, which all competing Aston Martin’s suffered with, and an unfortunately-timed safety car period when #90 was almost two minutes ahead of championship rivals AF Corse, took away the team’s chances of taking home the championship honours.
Season 8 of the FIA WEC consisted of two pole positions, four victories, including the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a third place finish for the UK-based team, which saw them lead the standings going into the last round. After a superb qualifying session, where Yoluc and Adam placed their Aston Martin Vantage GTE on the front row, the team were hopeful for a strong race.
Yoluc took the start of the finale and did a great job to hold off the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana for the opening laps. An advantageous move by Dalla Lana saw him dive down the inside of Yoluc, only to lock up and spin. Salih managed to avoid becoming entangled in the incident, but slipped down to P2 as the #57 Porsche of Keating took advantage. A perfect first stop by the crew saw #90 jump back up to the lead in the pits and Yoluc headed out on track to double stint and hold his own around the pro drivers in his class, before handing over to Adam.
Stint duties were shared between the TF pros, after Salih completed the majority of his driver time within the first half of the race. Both Jonny and Charlie consistently ran in the top four whilst building the gap ahead of the #83 Ferrari. Unfortunately, during Yoluc’s final run, a safety car was called which took away #90’s advantage and Salih handed over to Jonny in P4, whilst #83 wasn’t far behind in P9. After going green, both Adam and Eastwood once again built up a comfortable lead ahead of AF Corse and the championship crown was in touching distance.
Drama hit in the closing hours when Eastwood reported an issue and the team were forced to extend their final scheduled stop, to change the Vantage’s front brake assembly. The crew’s slick handiwork saw #90 lose as little time as possible, but unfortunately it was enough to deny the team the chance to fight AF Corse to the flag. Eastwood crossed the line in eighth place to complete the season and secure the vice-championship.
Everybody at TF Sport wishes to congratulate AF Course, Emmanuel Collard, Francois Perrodo and Nicklas Nielsen on being crowned champions and thanks everybody for their support throughout this very unconventional season.
The team will now prepare for the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, in February.
Tom Ferrier, Team Owner - “I would be lying if I said we weren’t disappointed not to take home the crown, but to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and finish second in the most competitive class in a world championship, is something I am hugely proud of. Yet again, Bahrain hasn’t been kind to us, but the drivers and crew didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the eight hours and sometimes it’s just not meant to be. After finishing third last season and now second, we are more determined than ever to come back next year and win the title.”