Oman Racing with TF Sport’s dominant Pro-Am class victory in the Total 24 Hours of Spa is a ‘huge result’ after starting from the pit lane following a chassis change, according to team director Tom Ferrier.
The Omani-flagged, British-run entry had a turbulent start to the weekend after reverting to a spare chassis following a crash in Free Practice 1, forcing it to start from the pit lane.
Nicki Thiim and Charlie Eastwood did most of the running to get the car up the order early in the race, while Am drivers Salih Yoluc and Ahmad Al Harthy completed one stint each.
“It was just generally Nicki and Charlie being very fast,” Ferrier told Sportscar365.
“We only ran Salih for one hour, which was basically all under Full Course Yellow and got our Bronze hours out of the way under Full Course Yellow.
“The Bronzes played their part massively driving at a good pace and then Nicki and Charlie were the fast bit of it all so it was a good driver/team effort there.”
The No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 had a meteoric rise through the field in the opening hours and took the class lead at around 10 p.m, six hours into the race.
“I don’t think we weren’t in the lead once we got to the lead,” Ferrier said. “Couldn’t have gone better. From a pit lane start to the first six hours and then winning it.
“You always want to win a big, blue riband event as a team, so for us it’s massive. One day I’d love to do Pro classes overall, but you know, step by step.
“Yeah, huge. And for Ahmad it’s a massive, massive boost back home to be honest. We had a tough year last year.
“It’s good. Everyone likes winning, don’t they? That’s what we all do it for. I’ve got to let it sink in to be honest. It was a bit of a blur.”
It marked Aston Martin’s first class victory at Spa and the first 24-hour triumph for its new-for-2019 Vantage GT3.
Tight Turnaround for Spare Chassis
The spare chassis sourced after the FP1 crash was the car used by Graham Davidson and Jonny Adam in one of the team’s British GT Championship entries.
The series competed at Spa on the weekend before the 24 Hours, and heads to Brands Hatch for another race this weekend, giving TF Sport a tight turnaround to prepare.
Davidson and Adam were also both competing at Spa, driving for Daiko Lazarus Racing and Garage 59, respectively.
“Because it’s in one piece, [it’s] not terrible,” Ferrier explained. “It could use a good strip down and clean.
“It was absolutely minging underneath, so it needs all that doing. Everything life-wise is still good underneath for the next round, so it’s not been easy, we have three days.
“[Brands Hatch is] an important one for us as well. We’re not a million miles away in the championship in that. If we can go there and have a win we’ll be right amongst it. That would be the plan.”