Having claimed a superb pole position for the opening round of the European Le Mans Series this weekend, (13-15 April, 2017) TF Sport went the whole way by dominating the 4H of Silverstone with Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Nicki Thiim.
“This is a dream start for us, something we definitely want to continue,” said TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier. “We were a little unsure as to where we stood after the Monza test, but this proves we really are right on the game and this is a perfect launch to what we think is going to be a fantastic season for TF Sport.”
Thiim claimed a sensational pole position in the #90 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE on Friday and come Saturday afternoon, Yoluc started the four-hour race, losing one position at the start, then maintained station, remaining in striking distance, before handing over to Hankey at the one-hour mark.
Hankey wasted no time regaining the GTE class lead early in his stint, passing the #55 car and quickly extending his advantage at the head of the field to an impressive 30 seconds.
With just over half distance complete, Thiim took over for his stint and continued to show the true pace of the TF Sport entry as he further extended the gap to the #77 and #99 cars chasing behind.
With the race now truly under control now, Hankey took the fourth stint and calmly crossed the line on after 116 laps to record a dominant debut victory for TF Sport in the European Le Mans Series.
“It’s a great result, we know we had the speed, so it was a good race and all three of us managed to have a clean race. The start was okay, there was some drama in front, but we managed our way through all okay. So, a great start!”
“Brilliant for the team, especially here at their home ground to deliver this result. I came in and I’m getting familiarised with the team, Salih did an amazing job – made us comfortable and made it easier for us to bring the car home. Perhaps here we have a small advantage with Aston knowing the track setup wise but next up is Monza and we’re looking forward to that.”
“I never really thought we’d be in this position – if you had asked me in the middle of last year but we’ve all improved so much – especially Salih – and this made our live really easy really. Although I did have a few moments, some contact, but none-the-less we got over the finish line and we got the first place which was exactly what we wanted. TF Sport… unbelievable the way they have graduated to GTE. I hope it continues, I’m sure it won’t always be this easy.
“In the Monza test we were really fast so again if we can carry the Silverstone momentum to there, so we’re really looking forward to it.”
TF Sport are next in action in the British GT on Monday 17 April before moving on to Blancpain Endurance Cup 22-23 April. The next ELMS race for the winning #90 team is Monza 12-14 May.