TF Sport take their first ELMS pole at Silverstone

Friday, April 14, 2017

Series newcomers, TF Sport continued their dominate performance at the opening event of the 2017 European Le Mans Series at Silverstone today by securing class pole in their Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE.

With AMR factory driver Nicki Thiim behind the wheel of their sveltely liveried car, he clocked the team's fastest time of the weekend with a 1:58:269 to secure provisional pole ahead of their stable mate entry from Beechdean AMR, which had Ross Gunn behind the wheel for what would be his first GTE qualifying experience.

Beechdean AMR had their Free Practice 2 session cut short earlier when a gear box failure in the #99 car forced a replacement with no time left in the session to test their works. With the assistance of a few mechanics from the factory WEC squad they were quickly able to complete their work ahead of the 10 minute qualifying session this afternoon. The worst case scenario here was of course that the #99 would fail to set a time and would have to start from the rear of the grid - so better then than just prior to or even in the race!

Ross Gunn later confirmed that an issue was initially detected by Darren Turner in his outlaps in the car which he first put down to a defective wheel/tyre, however, when Andrew Howard then went out the gearbox experienced what was later diagnosed as a catastrophic failure of the fifth gear mechanism.

With Matt Griffin in the #55 Ferrari being the only other driver to set a qualifying time below the two minute barrier it seems, in the words of an AMR driver, that the rest are still to show their full hand at Silverstone.

After the session was complete Nicki Thiim was asked by Radio Le Mans whether he was surprised at his pole position and performance of the new team - for which he gamely replied "should I say yes?"

Saturday's four race starts at 14:00hrs

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