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TF Sport Weighing Up 2019 Race Programs

TF Sport likely committing to WEC for 2019-20; Blancpain programs still to be decided…

Photo: MPS Agency

TF Sport is putting its 2019 plans into place, with the British squad targeting more dual activity in GTE and GT3 next year.

Team principal Tom Ferrier told Sportscar365 that he expects the team to continue in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Am category in 2019-20 following a successful start to its debut season.

A third consecutive Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup program is also “90%” nailed down with the new-generation Aston Martin Vantage GT3 that TF Sport recently ran in the Gulf 12 Hours.

This will likely operate alongside a previously-announced two-car effort with the same package in the British GT Championship.

“It’s not quite finalized, whether it will be one or two cars and what class it will be,” said Ferrier, when asked about TF Sport’s Blancpain GT intentions.

“It’s still up in the air, but we’re working on it. I’d be surprised if we’re not there with one car at least.

“It’ll be British GT and Blancpain, and then the remainder of WEC. I would hope we will be at the start of the WEC again, and it’s all silly season at the moment, but we’re getting there.”

Ferrier suggested that a potential return to the European Le Mans Series, which had been under consideration a few months ago, is now unlikely.

“That has gone away a little bit at the moment,” he said.

“Of course, never say never, but I would say that we’re more likely to do WEC again than we are in ELMS.

“It [TF Sport’s first year in WEC] has gone very well really. It’s a great championship and I’ve been massively impressed. I think Le Mans is very special, but you still get a bit of a feeling like Le Mans at every WEC round, so it’s great to be there.”

Ferrier said that deciding on programs for 2019 is a challenge for a customer-oriented team like TF Sport, which bases its schedule around the plans of its client drivers.

“It’s tricky because you’re led by your clients to a certain degree,” he explained.

“We’re not funded by Aston Martin Racing or a manufacturer: we’re funded by amateur drivers so we’ve got to go with their wants and needs.

“But we’ve also got to hope that it ties in nicely with everything else we’re doing, to make the programs make sense.”

Prologue Date Clash “A Concern” but Manageable

Ferrier added that the date clash between the 2019-20 WEC Prologue at Barcelona and the start of the Total 24 Hours of Spa race week will be hard to manage for teams entering both.

The Prologue test was moved forward two days to July 23-24 to avoid conflicting with the timed sessions at Spa, however it still overlaps with the Blancpain GT drivers’ briefing.

“It’s a concern for me because it’s in the middle of Spa 24 Hours week,” said Ferrier.

“Other than that, as long as you’ve got enough warning for teams and you know what’s got to be rebuilt and changed, I think you can turn the cars around fast enough after Le Mans.

“I don’t think it’s a problem, really. I’d just prefer if it wasn’t that week. I’m sure some of the other teams will have the same issues, AF Corse and what not.

“It definitely takes the gap out of it, to run at the end of July and then you’re on track again at the end of August [for the WEC opener at Silverstone].”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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