TF Sport victorious in incident-filled GTE Am battle at Le Mans

JEP/Motorsport Images

TF Sport victorious in incident-filled GTE Am battle at Le Mans

Le Mans/WEC

TF Sport victorious in incident-filled GTE Am battle at Le Mans

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TF Sport made it a double win for Aston Martin this year at Le Mans. Tom Ferrier’s plucky British outfit put together a dominant victory in the GTE Am class with its No. 90 Vantage AMR, becoming the first Aston customer team in the modern era to claim a Le Mans win in the process.

Jonny Adam (who won GTE Pro with the factory team in 2017), Charlie Eastwood and Bronze-rated Salih Yoluc emerged as the strongest trio in the field as the sun set on Saturday night, setting up TF Sport’s biggest ever victory as a team.

GTE Am was entertaining throughout and in the first half of the race looked near impossible to predict. The constant cycle of pros and ams all taking turns behind the wheel shuffled the order hour after hour.

But TF Sport’s strategy of burning most of Yoluc’s drive time early in the race worked perfectly. With the threat of rain removed as time wore on it allowed them to run only Eastwood and Adam throughout the night and build a comfortable lead.

Once the sun rose on Sunday, with no other contenders within shouting distance, they needed only three more stints out of Yoluc before they could go back to Adam and Eastwood and take the win by almost a minute.

It has become normal at Le Mans to see class podium places decided in the final laps, and 2020 was no exception. The race for second place after the final safety car in the final hour ended with Dempsey Proton’s No. 77 Porsche taking second, AF Corse’s No. 83 Ferrari completing the podium and the No. 56 Project 1 911 missing out on silverware. It was a titanic scrap, and saw three young, bright stars — Matt Campbell, Nicklass Nielsen and Matteo Cairoli — do battle on the biggest of stages in sports car racing.

A special mention must be given to Gulf Racing, which completed the top five. Mike Wainwright enjoyed one of the best drives in his career along with Ben Barker and Andrew Watson en route to the flag.

Behind the Gulf Porsche, Corvette Racing stalwart Jan Magnussen in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE came home in sixth alongside Richard Heistand and Maxwell Root.

A few contenders hit trouble in this one, the main one being the No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, which could have made it a double win for the British factory had a suspension failure not put an end to Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn and Augusto Farfus’ hopes of a big win just as the sun rose on Sunday morning.

It was another heartbreak for Dalla Lana to add multiple near misses in recent years. His search for a Le Mans win continues….

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