TF Sport looking to expand in GTE and beyond

Image by LAT

TF Sport looking to expand in GTE and beyond

Le Mans/WEC

TF Sport looking to expand in GTE and beyond

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Current FIA WEC GTE Am points leader TF Sport is looking to expand its GTE program next season, as part of its continued growth as an Aston Martin customer team competing around the world.

The team, owned by Tom Ferrier, moved into a larger premises just over a year ago, and now feels it can spread its wings further, running multiple Aston Martin customer cars in GTE, GT3 and GT4 championships.

“We started to run out of room at our old facility,” Ferrier told RACER. So we’ve moved on to bigger and better things. GTE is something we definitely want to expand (in). We now have the option to have a second car, so we are actively looking to get into ELMS with another customer car or, in fact, in another year, to move to a two-car team in WEC.

“There’s no denying that being competitive in, and winning, a WEC event is a fantastic feeling. You know you’re at a world championship event, and that level is the level at which we want to compete. It is possible to do it: a lot of teams are running two car teams and we’ve had a successful time in ELMS. We finished third last year in the WEC; we are leading the championship this year; and we want to use all of that experience and push forward.”

TF Sport’s Salih Yoluc, Charles Eastwood and Jonathan Adam celebrate in Shanghai. Image by LAT.

Beyond an expanded role in the FIA WEC, the British team is evaluating a return to the ELMS GTE class. TF last competed in the ELMS back in 2017, ahead of its move to the FIA WEC.

“(The ELMS) is run by the ACO, so you get the same feeling as that in the WEC, in terms of a race weekend. It’s multi-class racing again, it’s great circuits, and there’s the pull of the top-two in the championship getting the guaranteed Le Mans entry,” Ferrier added. “It’s been growing and growing, and we’d love to be there next year.

“And, of course it doesn’t clash with any WEC events, so that makes it attractive for us in that sense as well.

“I think it would work from a team point of view, too. One of the drivers I have spoken to about ELMS is looking for a future option in the WEC, and you can, you know, dovetail the program to go straight through with an 18-month program together.

“Obviously, the Silverstone double-header makes it a bit tricky, but there’s ways around it.

“The only other difference is you’re running a different tire between ELMS and WEC. But, for an amateur driver, the tricky bit for WEC is the testing because everything’s in freight; you don’t get a lot of time to go testing. Having a second car in an ELMS program potentially frees up some real potential for testing, too.”

Outside of GTE racing, TF Sport is currently an Aston Martin customer team in the British GT Championship and in SRO Blancpain GT racing — GT3 and GT4. And, since 2016, it has been winning titles in Europe, all with just six full-time crew members which expands to around 24 crew during race weekends when it runs multiple cars.

Outside of Prodrive, TF is the only outfit to run Aston Martin’s complete fleet of current customer cars.

Going forward, the team is looking to continue racing in World Challenge Europe (the Blancpain series’ new name) and British GT. There is the potential, too, for an expansion into the Intercontinental GT Challenge, SRO’s globetrotting series which groups together most of the world’s most prestigious GT3 races.

“There’s certainly interest from me in IGTC,” Ferrier explained. “The calendar looks absolutely brilliant. I think we (might have) done it last year had there been a championship for Pro-Am rather than just one-off races.

“Obviously the first round clashes with Brazil WEC, which is a bit of a problem for us. But if there was a customer, there’s a way around it for sure. WEC with the GTE car is the the pinnacle of that form of motorsport, but it’s the pinnacle of expense as well.

“You can tie it in with SRO’s continental and regional championships if you really want to go and do sprint, endurance and the IGTC. You could put a program together and do all of that if you wanted to. That is definitely, from a team point of view, an attractive look.

“Whether or not we can put together a whole program is more difficult. Maybe a little bit of a pick and mix, but I could see us doing a couple of the events as a starting point or adding them on to an existing program.

“Where we are is just trying to fill race-winning cars — really, that is the game.”

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