Podium keeps dream alive for TF sport at GT3 LMC finale

Saturday, September 24, 2016

TF Sport secured third position and the final step on the podium today (24 September, 2016) in Round 5 of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. The result ensures that the team head to the season finale in Portugal with a four-point lead in the Teams’ Championship.

While the podium position is a solid result, the team were left wanting for more at a circuit that didn’t play to the strengths of the #34 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 package.

“We got the podium and perhaps we were a bit lucky but you have to be there at the end,” said TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier. “We knew from other races that we’d struggle a bit here for ultimate pace but it still something we have to look at and understand as the car wasn’t as competitive as we had hoped. But we head to Estoril and we’ll fight on as we are still in the race for the title.”

Qualifying saw Salih Yoluc record the fifth fastest time, and he duly took the start of the two-hour event. The start saw run wide at La Source but he quickly regained ground as the Safety Car was scrambled following an incident behind.

Once back underway Yoluc settled into a race rhythm before the #90 Aston Martin ran into mechanical trouble and Yoluc was able to make the pass to run fourth. Soon after he conceded position to the #14 Ferrari at the end of the Kemmel straight following an instruction from the team. “I was told to let him past,” Yoluc explained. “I was losing time (defending) and we hoped we could get the position back later on, so I let him go by.”

Euan Hankey took over at the half-distance mark in fourth position, passing the #14 car thanks to the crew in the stops, and then gaining the final step on the podium as the #55 McLaren ran into tyre problems in the closing minutes.

“This was damage limitation,” admitted Hankey, “It’s clear this circuit didn’t suit our car. We did the best we could but we struggled with understeer, so we were lucky to inherit third from the unlucky McLaren.”

With it all to play for and TF Sport expecting a much more competitive race ahead, the final round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup gets underway 21-22 October at Autódromo do Estoril in Portugal.

Source material - TF Sport
Photo credits - Adrenal Media
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