TF Sport take second at an eventful Fuji

Monday, October 15, 2018

TF Sport came away from their first ever fly away round of any championship on a well deserved high as the #90 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE secured another second placed finish in the World Endurance Championship after the 6Hrs of Fuji and despite finishing third on the track at the time!

With Charlie Eastwood starting his first WEC event from P5 on the grid in class,  the young Irishman had his work cut out starting from behind the Safety car in the unsurprisingly wet Fuji conditions and having to avoid everyones else troubles as accidents and incidents lead to a number of caution and Safety Car periods. As the track slowly dried came the need to all cars to swap onto slicks as he handed the car over to Salih Yoluc from P4 at the one third distance.

Yoluc then put in some of his best and most consistent driving to date with a fine middle stint, sometimes running as high as P3 as other pit stops cycles passed as TF Sport themselves gambled upon their own pit stop strategy from that of their competitors in a search for that little edge!

The teams only piece of misfortune came was just as Yoluc pitted to swap over to Jonny Adam for the start of his race action as a Full Course Yellow delayed to Scot somewhat so that he exited pit lane some forty seconds behind his target Porsche infant. Putting in quicker lap after quicker lap Adam finally took P2 from the #88 Dempsey Proton Porsche with just the one stop and final hour to go and at one point held the class lead before fuel necessitated his final stop with an hour to go.

With new tyres, a full'ish tank and little over fifty minutes to go Adam was looking back at a forty second deficit again to the Team Project 1 Porsche ahead which he did reduce somewhat before 'accepting' that the battle was futile and consolidation of P2 was more to the point as the #88 Dempsey Proton Porsche came back at him from behind.

In the final twenty minutes of the race the #88 Porsche eventually sailed past the #90 AMR as if they weren't there leaving Adam to finally cross the line for what was first a P3 finish - a position which in itself was a marvellous achievement.

Post race came the news that the #88 Porsche had received a 31 second time penalty for an apparent breach of minimum refuelling times that resulted in the car being dropped behind that of the #98 Aston Martin Racing GTE Am car meaning that TF Sport left Japan today with a P2 finish ahead of the #98 AMR in P3.

In Championship terms, this result leaves TF Sport third in the GTE Am Championship tables some 12 points points behind the Team Project 1 Porsche in second and a further 14 points behind the now troubled #77 car from the Dempsey Proton Porsche as the WEC sees out the first half of their transitional season in Shanghai in November. The outcome of the forthcoming FIA technical investigation into the Dempsey Proton team's alleged antics at Fuji may well have further bearing on those championship positions.

The 6Hrs of Shanghai is on 16th November.

Photo credits - TF Sport / WEC

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