Oman Racing with TF Sport were left disappointed after early exit from round four of the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup, the 24 Hours of Spa. Having made gains early in the race to run fourth, an off three hours into the race effectively ended the podium challenge there and then.
Ross Gunn joined Ahmad Al Harthy, Charlie Eastwood and Euan McKay in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, keen to build on the string of points finishes. Qualifying proved to be a bit mixed with the team losing time following contact from the #42 Strakka, whilst Ahmad was at the wheel.
Night practice followed with all four drivers putting in the laps before pitting early to preserve the car. Race day saw Ross take the start from seventh, quickly moving ahead of the #78 Barwell entry to run in sixth before pitting at the one-hour window.
Ahmad took over for the second stint, running as high as fourth as the stops cycled through before taking a comfortable fifth position and finding good pace from the Aston Martin. A full course yellow followed, and Ahmad pitted for fuel and tyres and resumed for another stint before handing over to Euan.
Unfortunately, Euan lost control of the car at turn eight on his out lap, making heavy contact with the barriers. He was able to return the car back to the pits where the team set about repairing the front left corner. It was another mighty effort from the team and Euan was able to get back out, but it was clear that the Aston Martin still had problems.
Euan pitted again and the team set about looking at rear brake callipers before the decision was taken to retire from the race such was the level of damage sustained.
“It’s been a disappointing week for us,” stated TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier. “There’s not much to say about the race. We struggled to find pace from the car all week and then in the race, it finally came to us. Ahmad in particular really found some time in his double stint, but unfortunately we never got to show it in terms of the results.
“Euan made a mistake, but that happens in racing. The team worked hard to try and get the car back into the race, but it just wasn’t our weekend.”