After a catch-up with Euan Hankey who was singing the praises of the progress made in the off season by his driving partner at TF Sport in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 for the 2016 Season in International GT Open and the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, it was time to catch up with the man himself in the TF Sport truck.
“Euan is a great coach and I have learnt a lot over the winter. he’s had me out doing a lot of driving, not just in GT cars but ice driving and a LOT of karting, all about car control and finding the time everywhere, and it is really helping.
“At the test at Barcelona I was doing 49.5s and 49.6s where my best racing lap there last year was a 51.1!
“I’m really looking forward to this Series, I like the fact that it’s all about the Bronze drivers, the track time, and particularly the fact that we are qualifying the cars, means that there is real encouragement to improve, and a real opportunity to measure yourself agains your peers. And the prize for the winner is amazing (an automatic Le Mans entry in LM GTE Am in 2017).
“And on top of that we have GT Open where there seems to be a good grid assembling for the season, and some very good drivers, so out programme gives me the opportunity to be out on track with those guys too, and again you take something from that too.
Down the line the FIA WEC is the aim, and of course Le Mans, and it would be cool to get there with these guys. Tom and the boys are a very close knit bunch, all of the boys are very good, very straightforward and very professional. It’s been a very comfortable fit for me.”
“We like this Series, it is ideal for our current customers, gives us a great foot hold where we want to be and gives us the opportunity to grow here and, as Salih said , the prize for the winner is excellent, the Series is going to some great circuits too (following the ELMS from round 2 onwards plus the Le Mans support race).
I like too that the gentleman driver has the opportunity and the pressure to try to put it on Pole, and to win something worth winning, that will be good for their confidence I’m sure.
“We wanted to be in the GTC class in ELMS and were surprised after Estoril last year (where TF made a one-off appearance) when the ELMS announced it wasn’t carrying on. But we’ve committed one car for the full season and will be here with a second for 3-4 rounds for Andrew Jarman and Devon Modell, Paul-Ricard, Spa, the Le Mans race and possibly Estoril .
“Add in the two cars in British GT for Derek Johnstone and Jonny Adam, plus Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes, both potential Championship contenders, and the GT Open programme and we’ve got a busy year ahead..”