With a string of podium positions last time out in the British GT Championship, TF Sport were aiming even higher as the series reconvened for round three of the series at Rockingham Motor Speedway this weekend (29-30 April, 2017). Sadly, the event proved to be a disappointment with the team finishing seventh and eighth positions.
“There’s not a whole lot to say to be honest,” said TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier. “At Oulton Park we started at the back and got podiums. Here we started first and second and did not get podiums. We know we can’t always win – we know that – but it is still frustrating to get a result like this. Derek damaged the #1 car and that was that really in terms of a strong result, especially with the (track limits) penalty. Mark had a spin as well, so all in all not one of our finest days.”
Qualifying saw Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston claim pole position for Sunday’s two-hour race in the #1 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, while the sister #11 car made it an all TF Sport front row for the first time in British GT with Jon Barnes and Mark Farmer lapping just two-tenths of a second shy on aggregate.
With a second covering the top six cards on the grid, race day proved to be tougher overall with Johnston leading early on before striking the high ‘sausage kerb’ and damaged the suspension. This introduced massive understeer for the remainder of the race.
Johnston slid down the order and pitted from seventh position mid-distance and handed over to Adam. Despite his best efforts, Adam lost a further position before the chequered flag flew.
“The car was almost undriveable,” Johnston said. “I even had understeer through (the banked) turn one. The car felt really soft and the ABS was kicking in as well. It was a really tough stint and I picked up a track limits penalty for doing the same as those ahead of me…”
Over in the #11 entry, Farmer started from second position, but lost out two positions at the start. A spin followed, which he admitted was ‘frustrating and a bit silly’ before he handed over to Barnes for the second half of the race. Barnes closed in the ailing #1 ahead and duly took seventh position for the team.
The next round of the British GT championship takes place at Snetterton, May 27-28. TF Sport will next be on track in the European Le Mans Series at Monza May 14.