2016 British GT Championship teams and drivers champions TF Sport has announced their two Aston Martin Vantage GT3s will have the same line-ups in 2017.
That means in the #17 title winning car will still have double-champion Jonny Adam partnering rapid gentleman driver Derek Johnston who easily had the measure of most of the ‘Am’ field this season.
It also allows Aston Martin factory racer Adam the opportunity to take an unprecedented third title in a row after already setting records taking two titles on the spin.
He said: “I’ve been in British GT since 2011 and Aston Martin Racing has placed me with several teams in several championships, but I particularly enjoy working with TF Sport. Having raced at a high level himself, Tom Ferrier understands what’s needed. I really like the attention to detail, he has good staff, the cars are always beautifully turned out and it was clear that winning the championship meant a hell of a lot to everybody involved.
“Doing the double with two different teams was great, but winning a third consecutive title and doing it with TF Sport would be very special and I’m hungry to make it happen. TF Sport is a young team and it has come a long way in only a few years, also winning in Europe, which is great from Aston Martin’s perspective. However, we need to move forward from the last round of 2016 and we have a great test structure in place.”
For Adam’s teammate Johnston, 2017 is all about the defence of his title: “We learnt an awful lot as a team and as individual drivers in 2016. Tom Ferrier’s understanding improved massively and everything came together nicely to ensure we could win the title. I want to be up there again next year and I don’t see any reason why we can’t be. We will be among the favourites for the 2017 titles, but a lot depends on how the Balance of Performance shakes out. I definitely feel confident in my own ability and I now know how to race in British GT.”
In the #11 which took a great win at Spa-Francorchamps in the face of an on-slaught from Grasser Racing Team remains 2008 champion Jon Barnes and an ‘Am’ teammate increasingly growing in confidence – Mark Farmer.
Ending the season in a good position helped TF Sport edge out Barwell Motorsport in the teams championship, and the pair will be hoping they can carry on that form starting at Oulton Park to launch their own title challenge.
Barnes commented: “We ended up in an unexpected position, on the cusp of the championship fight going into the Donington decider and that was mainly due to the improvement Mark made in the latter half of the year.
“If we continue refining our qualifying techniques and find more consistency for the races we should be in contention for the title come the end of the year, and we have a big winter programme of testing, sim work and karting to get our act together.”
That was something Farmer agreed to completely: “We feel pretty good about 2017 and that’s primarily due to the way we performed at the end of this season. Ultimately, it was all about eradicating mistakes and we’ll be going into the new season feeling very positive and excited. We’ll be in a position where the pressure isn’t really on us. We obviously hope to be in the mix and we’re confident we can be, but I’m not thinking about results. I need to focus on preparation and I’ll take it one corner at a time. The results should come.”
The pair will also be helped by their end of season trip to the International GT Open finale at Barcelona where Farmer and Barnes will join regular TF Sport crew Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc for a bit of winter sun.