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RACE PREVIEW

PUBLISHED 23/07/2019
TAGS Blancpain GT, GT3, Spa Francorchamps, Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood, NICKI THIIM, Ahmad Al Harthy

Following a consistent run in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Oman Racing with TF Sport proudly sit in second place in the teams’ classification ahead of the famous Total 24 Hours of Spa.

While just 11 points from the top, the team have secured three out of three podiums solidifying an already impressive season.

Aston Martin works driver, Nicki Thiim, joins the line-up for the weekend, as the team look to regain the title it won in 2017.

Charlie Eastwood, Ahmad Al Harthy and Salih Yoluç moved to the top of the Endurance Cup Pro Am drivers’ standings after another strong showing in the series at the last round. The trio collected their third pole position at Paul Ricard to continue their clean sweep of pole positions and podiums this season in the Endurance Cup, with the #97 Aston Martin GT3.

The two opening rounds at Monza and Silverstone were fought over three hours, while the last round at Paul Ricard was doubled to six-hours. The flagship Total 24 Hours of Spa is up next on the calendar before the season finale at Barcelona in September.

With a maximum 50 points available for the meeting, Oman Racing with TF Sport take the battle to Spa-Francorchamps to challenge for the title. Points are awarded at six-hours (12pts), 12-hours (12pts) and 24-hours (25pts) with a point for pole position. 

After the heartache suffered last year with an early retirement, the team are hopeful of converting their season-long pace into championship success.

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“I think we need to score as many points as possible and our aim is to be running strong at the six and 12-hour marks. The car has been good all season and we’re on a good run of form in the series. We have a good line-up with Nicki joining us and we’re positive heading into it that we can get a good result.”

Ahmad Al Harthy

“Spa is always a huge event, obviously the biggest race of the Blancpain season and by far one of the biggest in world motorsport – so we’re all very excited to be back. It’s fantastic to be leading the Pro-Am championship, we’ve had a very strong year so far in the Aston Martin and everyone is more than determined to try and keep our run of poles and podiums going.”

Salih Yoluç

“I’m really looking forward to going back to Spa-Francorchamps. We go into the weekend with a shot of winning the championship, but anything can happen in 24-hour races, so we need to keep focused. We were unlucky at Monza and Paul Ricard, so hopefully we can get some better luck here.”

Charlie Eastwood

“Leading the championship is at the back of our minds, but it’s still a massive race to win. On paper going into it we’ve been very strong and we’ve obviously got Nicki joining us which makes us even stronger. We just need to keep a clean race; I’m sure the car will be fast enough as it has been all season long. We think we may have a chance at Super Pole in the top 20 which would be an unreal result, because if you do get into that you can bridge a gap to the other Pro-Am cars. It’s a long race, but Salih and Ahmad have been super-fast and really consistent this year and that’s what you need in a 24-hour race.”

Nicki Thiim

“Spa is the biggest GT3 race on the planet, so as a GT driver it’s of course one of the ones you want to go to. Another 24-hours; it’s a special one. It’s a good line-up with the TF boys, being back with Salih is something I’m looking forward to. We have a good relationship from the ELMS in 2017 and I’m really excited to get started.”

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