TF Sport rails to eighth place finish in Silverstone 500

Monday, June 01, 2015

TF Sport overcame rain, wreckages and ravaged rims to finish eighth in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship Silverstone 500, some supreme driving from Jody Fannin and Andrew Jarman and shrewd strategic work combining to produce a satisfying result (30-31 May).

A recurring misfire resigned the #27 Eurostar-liveried entry of Jarman and Fannin to the ninth row of the grid, but a typically dedicated late night engine change from the TF Sport crew resolved the problem ahead of the three-hour endurance race on Sunday (31 May).

The sister TF Sport Aston Martin of Derek Johnston and Matt Bell, meanwhile, went tenth quickest in qualifying for the Silverstone 500 – the British GT Championship’s blue riband event – and subsequently led the TF Sport charge as the race got underway on Sunday afternoon.

Rain saturated the track ahead of the race-start and the opening laps of the three-hour contest were precarious, to say the least, drivers frantically searching for grip and trying to avoid the ever-deepening puddles.

The British GT field was released into a plume of spray and drivers tentatively navigated their way through the standing water during the first few tours of the 3.66mile Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, spins aplenty demonstrating how treacherous conditions were.

Nevertheless, both TF Sport cars initially held position in tenth and 17th, only for contact-induced right-rear puncture to force Jarman into the pits at the end of lap four.
Johnston was 12th on the road after 30 minutes, having lost track position to 22GT Racing’s Mark Farmer and the rival Beechdean Aston Martin of early spinner, Andrew Howard.

However, an unforced spin at Stowe corner resulted in unavoidable contact with the FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and the Geordie racer was stranded at the side of the track, unable to shift the terminally wounded Steel Decking-backed V12 Vantage.

All hopes now rested with the #27 Eurostar machine and, while Jarman emerged from his unscheduled wheel change in 23rd position, 45 minutes of determined driving from the Milton Keynes racer and teammate Fannin saw them ascend the leaderboard to 13th.

Mercifully, the rain eased off and a dry line appeared, and TF Sport reacted by fitting Fannin with a fresh set of slicks. The Surrey racer recorded one fastest lap after another and disposed of several rivals during a supremely confident, -awe-inspiring stint, climaxing with a lap of 2m04.846s.
Fannin rose to fifth position on the road and his determined driving had commanded the attention of the television cameras, but, while the Eurostar racer could be found in P12 after the driver change, Jarman picked up the baton well to breach the top ten once again before a second Safety Car intervention prompted a final, last-minute driver change with approximately half an hour to run.
Fannin was mired among lapped GT4 traffic at the restart and subsequently lost contact with the leading seven runners. Nevertheless, steady progress was made and, while TF Sport was unable to bridge the gap during the remaining laps, an eighth place result was well-received by all concerned.

“Considering where we were on Saturday (30 May), dealing with an engine issue and consequently qualifying towards the back of the grid, and also factoring in the two laps we lost during the wheel change, eighth place is a pretty good result we should be pleased about,” said Jarman. “Going by the pace we showed during free practice, I thought a top six finish was possible, so it’s unfortunate that we had to start so far back today. TF Sport once again did a fantastic job and the pit stops were spot on to bring a great result in front of my friends and sponsors.”

TF Sport Director, Tom Ferrier, said: “I think coming from 17th on the grid to eighth after losing two laps with a damaged wheel is very good and I don’t think we could have hoped for much better. The pace both Jody (Fannin) and Andrew (Jarman) showed and the way we played the strategy makes me think we could have been on the podium had everything gone to plan, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. The incident involving Derek (Johnston) in the second car was just unfortunate and I really feel for him. It would be nice to have a clean weekend for once.”

Source material - TF Sport
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