TF Sport's recovery drive secures another podium in British GT

Sunday, September 20, 2020

As the main contingent of Tom Ferrier’s team were busy guiding their Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE to class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, TF Sport still had two AMR Vantage GT4’s to chaperone to class success at the sixth round of the British GT Championship from Donington Park.

Running another change in format for this second visit to the Leicestershire circuit this year, Sunday saw the Championship run a three-hour race for the twenty four car grid that also included the Ultimate Speed AMR Vantage GT3 for the first time.

Having Qualified in P5 with the #95 Connor O’Brien/Patrick Kibble car and P7 for the #97 Jamie Caroline/Dan Vaughan car, the race was thrown into immediate confusion with two spinning GT3 cars at Turn 1-lap 1 which brought out the Safety Car. Two of only a handful of cars that elected to pit straight away to swap over to their ‘faster’ drivers it did appear that that was a bad call as they found themselves being held back at the pit exit as the race went back to green.

For the next two and a half hours, it was simply a case of each driver pushing as hard as they could to make up for a longer fuel stop that they would ultimately have to make to cover off their first stop. Kibble was the faster of the two as he broke the gap to Caroline to a tune of about 10 seconds at the halfway mark.

At the top of the final hour, the rest of the grid had made their final stops and it was only a case of where the then GT4 class leading Aston would come out as O’Brien again passed the car over to Kibble which they eventually did with just thirty minutes remaining.

Having not had to serve any additional pit stop penalty beyond that of their Silver Cup status, the #95 car would still come out behind the Academy Ford Mustang and the #58 HHC McLaren to claim the final step of the GT4 podium. The #97 crew would also recover some decent points towards their Championship aspirations with a distant P4 finish – one lap down to the top three.

The Championship now moves onto Snetterton next month where we should be again seeing the Beechdean AMR Vantage GT3 of Andrew Howard and Valentin Hasse-Clot.

Photo credits - Jacob Ebrey / TF Sport / Ultimate Speed
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