TF Sport's British GT line up announced

Thursday, December 17, 2015

TF Sport boasts a Champion driver line-up for the 2016 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, with reigning title winner Jonny Adam partnering Derek Johnston and former British GT Champion Jon Barnes competing alongside Mark Farmer in a pair of Aston Martins.

Tom Ferrier’s TF Sport operation was swiftly acknowledged as an official Aston Martin Racing Partner Team soon after its conception in 2014 and it has been professional and logical in its approach to racing while learning how to win in the top flights of national and international GT racing.

The Redhill, Surrey team made a breakthrough with its Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s midway through 2015 and reached the podium at Brands Hatch and Snetterton, before achieving a sensational one-two finish in the British GT Championship season finale at Donington Park.

Buoyant, TF Sport headed into the winter with momentum on its side and that it has ratified its 2016 line-up before the New Year means the team and its drivers have an opportunity to be thorough with their 2016 preparations.

As a result, there’s a belief that TF Sport can get in among the main title fight from the outset of the season in April and reigning British GT Champion and Aston Martin Racing factory driver, Jonny Adam, said: “I feel really good about joining TF Sport. I know Tom (Ferrier) quite well and the team has developed massively over the last 12 months, winning well in the final round at Donington. Getting a deal done so quickly is key to ensuring you don’t miss out on critical testing miles, so I’m delighted to have this in place before the year is out.

“TF Sport is a good customer from Aston Martin Racing’s point of view and it will be nice to share my knowledge and experience of the V12 Vantage GT3 with a new team. Naturally, my ultimate goal is to mount a title challenge and Derek (Johnston) undoubtedly has the hunger for it. It’s all about the long game and tallying up the points and, although I expect 2016 to be a very competitive season with an expanded entry and new cars, I can’t see why we won’t be at the front from day one.”

Newcastle’s Johnston, who has just been nominated as a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), added: “It all came good towards the end of the year and it made sense to maintain my relationship with Tom (Ferrier) and TF Sport now I’ve learned how to drive the Aston Martin. Jonny (Adam) has been in British GTs for a long time and is the reigning Champion, so taking the opportunity to drive alongside him was a no-brainer and I believe we can go into the new season with the same momentum we had at the end of 2015.

“I feel re-energised and invigorated by the results we achieved late-on in the season and by how things are shaping up for next year and I now feel I have the mindset and the racecraft to stay out of trouble and collect the points needed to win. It will be essential to get out of the gate and bag some crucial points quickly and we should have the full package with Jonny’s experience.”

Barnes, meanwhile, has had success in Caterhams and Formula Palmer Audi, but most notably won the 2008 British GT title and, having shown good, consistent race pace during a character-building learning year in 2015, the 32-year old from Southampton and long-term driving partner, Farmer, are both looking forward to finally having the tools to achieve representative results next year.

"Although myself and Mark (Farmer) had a few opportunities to show our pace in 2015, notably leading the Silverstone 500 by a huge margin until the final 30 minutes and then finishing on the podium at Snetterton, we took a look at our performances across the season and knew that we could improve with some help in the right areas,” said Barnes. “Tom Ferrier invited us to test and as TF Sport had been the most competitive Aston Martin team in British GT towards the end of the season, we jumped at the chance.

“Tom’s operation was very impressive, as was the car balance compared to what we had previously experienced, so we instantly felt comfortable and got down to some very quick times. As a result, the decision to switch came fairly easily after that! We both hope that, having had a steep learning year in 2015, we will start 2016 with TF Sport in much better shape. Plus, confirming our plans for 2016 this early is a big help, as it gives us lots of preparation time.”

Bath’s Farmer added: “I have just completed my first season in British GT and it was a big learning year for both me and Jon (Barnes), who has been coaching me for some time now. Jon is super talented and we work really well together, but I think we completely underestimated how big and competitive the British GT Championship is and we discovered we were in the dark in a lot of areas when we smashed our lap times after only a few laps in testing with TF Sport.

“While we drove an Aston Martin in 2015, TF Sport’s car was far more compliant and stronger, which inspired a lot of confidence that we have the pace as a driver pairing. It’s a question of being with the right team and having the right equipment. It’s clear that TF Sport has a lot of experience and expertise; it’s well-drilled and everybody knows their subject really well and they’ve turned out a fantastic car as a result. To cap it all, we’ll have Derek (Johnston) and Jonny (Adam) as teammates. To get better at any sport you have to play people who are better than you, so I feel they will drag us up.”

TF Sport Director, Tom Ferrier, concluded: "I’m delighted with our 2016 British GT line-up. We’ve seen what Derek (Johnston) can do in our car and Jonny (Adam) has starred in rival machinery to win the title, while both Jon (Barnes) and Mark (Farmer) drove superbly in a recent test at Donington and will undoubtedly be good assets for TF Sport. I feel we have all the right ingredients to be very strong and, having achieved some fantastic results towards the end of this year, we’re up for the fight.”

Source material - TF Sport
Photo credit - Richard Leach
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