Two double podiums for TF Sport set up British GT finale nicely

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Two double podiums for TF Sports Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 crew’s at this weekend’s penultimate round of the 2020 British GT Championship from a rain-soaked Snetterton has set things up for a cracking finale at Silverstone in a month’s time.

Having picked themselves up from the unfortunate incident at the end of the Brands Hatch round, the #97 and #95 crews of Jamie Caroline/Dan Vaughan and Connor O’Brien/Patrick Kibble took what they could from the Championship’s second visit to Donington Park two weeks ago to go into this weekend’s double header level on points at the top of the GT4 Drivers Championship.

Mother Nature certainly wasn’t going to be kind with both one-hour races on Sunday being run upon a track best rated as flooded in places in race 1 through the very wet in race 2 but then, that just added to the spectacle that is GT racing.

With the #97 car of Vaughan starting in P3 just ahead of the #95 car of O’Brien in P4, a delayed Race 1 had to be started from behind of the Safety Car as visibility into turn 1 would be a real issue. Fortunately, all made it around the first flying lap with the GT4 field remaining in Qualifying order until the GT4 pit window opened at the half hour mark. Pitting early and with only the #95 affected by a success penalty from Donington Park, Caroline emerged at the head of the GT4 field after the stop with both HHC McLaren 570s cars sandwiched between him and Kibble now in the #95 in P4.

As Caroline gapped himself to those behind, Kibble had just ten minutes to reduce the four second gap to the McLaren’s ahead, taking his time before eventually forcing his way through of the #57 on the inside at Agostini to claim P3 in class with just three minutes remaining.

Race 1 would end with the #97 claiming P1 overall in class with the #95 in P3 just behind the #58 HHC McLaren.

Race 2 would again be delayed from earlier episodes on track as Kibble started ahead of Caroline on track from P3 although this time, both cars would have success penalties during their stop from race 1.

This time with a more customary starting procedure, early confidence from Kibble saw him take the class lead from the Ford Mustang on the first lap whilst Caroline took two more laps to do the same and by then, the #95 was four seconds up the round.

As expended, both TF Sport cars ran late into their available pit stop window as they tried to make up for the additional 5 and 10 seconds of extra time each car would have to have. Obviously, that lead to a switch is track position by the time the pit stops were over as Vaughan now came out P2 in GT4 but behind the only Pro-Am GT4 to effectively lead their main Silver Cup race.

Whereas the Pro-Am car ahead would be of any concern, a charging 58 HHC McLaren coming up fast from behind would be as Jordan Collard first overtook O’Brien for position before not long after claimed P1 in class with a simple performance overtake past Vaughan on the pit straight. Results for Race 2 would give the #97 a P2 finish and the #95 a P3 finish.

With those results all in place, that gives the top five crews in GT4 a mathematical chance of lifting the GT4 Drivers Championship at the end of next month’s three-hour finale from Silverstone. Such are the scores in the GT4 Drivers, GT4 Silver Cup and GT4 Teams Championship that literally anything could happen!!!!

No pressure for anyone (!!!) but certainly not one to be missed.

Photo credits – TF Sport / Jacob Ebrey

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