Charlie Eastwood’s 2018 season with TF Sport

Charlie Eastwood’s 2018 season with TF Sport

For rising star Charlie Eastwood, the 2018 season has already provided its fair share of memorable moments, ranging from the sensational three runner-up positions in the FIA World Endurance Championship with TF Sport, to arriving at the garage in the dead of night at Le Mans with the bonnet completely missing. However the remaining races of the year pan out, it has already been a standout performance from the Belfast racer.

With a background in single seaters, Charlie made the switch to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship in 2016, taking a victory before going on to dominate the series in his second year of competition. This paved the way for the next step in his professional career as he stepped up to a twin programme in FIA WEC and the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup driving the Aston Martin Vantage GTE and GT3 respectively.

TF Sport announced Charlie’s WEC programme in January and immediately he was looking forward to the challenge. “It’s going to be a big challenge to step up to what is the very top in GT Racing, it’s a big old step,” he explained at he time. “With the line-up we have, we are confident we’ll be quick in each of our driver categories. There’s a lot of unknowns for all of us obviously, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. I know Silverstone and Le Mans and we’re planning on a good test programme. So as a team we all have the same desire and I can’t wait to get started!”

The first round of the championship took place at Spa-Francorchamps and it turned out to be a sensational WEC debut for Charlie as he helped the team secure second position, less than two-tenths of a second behind the class-winning car. His mid-stint race saw the deficit to the leader halved from 80 to 40 seconds, and this was pivotal in the victory challenge.

“We got a lot more than we really thought coming into this weekend with the second place, only two-tenths behind, so it was a massive battle in the last stint,” he said. “It’s also a fantastic result for myself in what is just my second ever endurance race in what is a big pond – WEC – so it gives us massive confidence for the rest of the season.”

Meanwhile the Blancpain season had already kicked off at Monza with the Charlie and the team recovering well from chassis damage early in the weekend to finish in fifth position. On to Silverstone for round two and a victory was very much a possibility but contact and steering damage late in the race put paid to the challenge.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the hardest races in the world and to finish can be a challenge in itself. TF Sport came close with 23 hours of running, but on this occasion it wasn’t to be. Charlie performed flawlessly throughout, surviving contact and a massive debris strike on the #90 Aston Martin that ripped away the bonnet in the dead of night. Ultimately starter motor issue and then a driveshaft failure brought an end to the spirited challenge.

“It wasn’t the result that we’d hoped for as the race through various hurdles, the last of which we fell at in the last hour,” Charlie said. “The team and drivers all showed great courage to keep pushing, even when we were out of contention. Now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season as we’ve not scratched the surface of what we can do as a team.”

Back at Silverstone for round three of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the team looked set for a famous first win until a stop-go penalty for an earlier pitstop infringement resulted in the runner-up position. Charlie’s mid-race stint saw him again close the gap to the race leader, this time from 16 seconds to one before pitting and handing over to Jonny Adam to complete the race. It was another strong performance, but it was a frustrating second on this occasion.

“We got a bit unlucky with the penalty, it was one of those hit or miss situations,” he said. “We missed the pit line by six seconds and that cost us a 75-second stop-go which really is quite harsh. It shows how much pace we had that we could recover from that to get P2.”

A crash early in the Spa 24 Blancpain race meant that Charlies didn’t get to compete, but he and the team went off to finish the season in Barcelona with a strong run to fifth position.

The WEC programme meanwhile travelled onto Fuji Speedway in Japan where Charlie took the start in damp conditions from fifth position only to find a rival car blocking his pit box early in the race. Charlie was able to more than gain back the time however and handed the Aston Martin over to Salih Yoluc in fourth place. The team went on to make it three runner-up positions from four starts in the championship as he and the team get ready for the final race of the 2018 season in Shanghai.

“Looking back, if three or four things had gone our way we may have had a chance to win but over a six-hour endurance race no one gets it perfect,” he said. “We’ve now been bridesmaids three times so hopefully we can get a win in Shanghai and make Christmas a bit shorter before the 2019 final races of the Super Season.”

The Fast and The Faultless: TF Sport takes second at Fuji

The Fast and The Faultless: TF Sport takes second at Fuji

TF Sport came to Fuji, Japan for the first fly away event of the World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Fuji and left closer in the Championship after a fine second place in the GTE Am class following an exemplary performance by team and drivers in challenging conditions.

With a new legion of Japanese fans watching on, TF started the race from fifth position in class on a treacherous track caused by light and intermittent rain that continued to fall sporadically as the race got under way. Tyre choice was crucial, and the team opted for intermediate rubber as Charlie Eastwood took the start, initially behind the safety car, quickly making up a position in the early stages as the cars were released to race, doing well to stay out of trouble as the conditions took their toll on some rivals.

A series of safety cars for incidents kept the field together and as the track started to dry. Timing for pit stops and tyre choice became a gamble. On lap 29 Charlie pitted from sixth in class to take slick tyres only to find a DC Racing LMP2 car in his pit box delaying the car momentarily. Charlie made steady progress as conditions became more stable and brought the Aston up to fourth as he handed the car to Salih Yoluc on the two-hour mark.

Salih then proceeded to have a great double stint when it was most needed, driving quickly and without mistakes to close the gap to the top three that had extended through the pit stop phase to bring the car into contention as he handed the car to Jonny Adam for the final two-hours to the flag.

Jonny found himself 40 seconds behind the leader in P2 after the pit stop sequence unfolded and set about closing on the Porsche ahead, steadily reducing the gap to under 30 seconds as the race progressed but was unable to make a sustained challenge on the eventual winning Project 1 Porsche. In the latter stages coming under pressure from a second Porsche, the Dempsey Proton car which he was powerless to defend from dropping back into third where the team crossed the finishing line.

As the podium ceremony took place the stewards were investigating both of the cars standing above TF Sport on the podium for infringements under double waved yellow flags towards the latter stages of the race. Deliberations continued into the night and finally after many hours, TF Sport were promoted to second place, with the Dempsey Proton entry being penalised, dropping to fourth position. The Project 1 car escaping sanction.

TF Sport are now solidly third position in the Championship with 54 points, well within reach of second with 66 and the leaders with 80.

All eyes now turn to the next round the 6 hours of Shanghai China in a months time.

Charlie Eastwood
“We have to be happy with the race and closing up a bit more in the championship. Looking back, if three or four things had gone our way we may have had a chance to win here but over a 6-hour endurance race no one gets it perfect. We’ve now been bridesmaids three times so hopefully we can get a win in Shanghai and make Christmas a bit shorter before the 2019 final races of the Super Season.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director
“Overall I am pretty happy, three podiums in three standard (6-hour) WEC races in our first season isn’t too bad and all the guys today were strong and drove a faultless race. We still don’t have the outright pace of the Porsches so it’s difficult to push for victory as they have more speed, but this is another good result for TF Sport and we are still in the Championship race.”

Salih Yoluc
“I really enjoyed racing here in Japan, the track and the fans are great. I was happy with my double stint, I got into a nice rhythm and caught up to the guys in front of me through the stint. If we had a bit more luck with the full course yellow timing and our pit stop we may have gained a minute and been comfortable looking at a win.”

Jonny Adam
“We had a good race and had good pace from qualifying right through the end of the race. I was able to push for the last two hours, but the Porsches just had a bit too much pace for us to contend with. Salih really upped his game today and if that continues we will be in good shape for the rest of the season.”

TF Sport set for the challenge of WEC at Fuji!

TF Sport set for the challenge of WEC at Fuji!

It’s a fresh challenge for TF Sport as they head to Fuji Speedway, Japan for the first of the fly-away races on the FIA World Endurance Championship calendar this coming weekend (12-14 October).

The team raced at the front on home-soil at Silverstone until a late race penalty, but It’s been a strong campaign to date with two second place finishes in the GTE-Am class.

Now the #90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE team are aiming to go one better and make it a famous first trip to Asia. With 36 points on the board, TF Sport are fifth in the standings, just one-point shy of the #98 Aston Martin and five behind the #56 Team Project entry.

Charlie Eastwood

“We have been bridesmaids twice, third time isn’t lucky, so we’re going to Fuji to win!”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“I’ve been looking forward to this one all season long. It’s our first time competing at Fuji and I think we’ll be strong on track and should be in the running for the race win. On top of that it’s a new experience for us all and we’re really looking forward to the whole experience of racing in Japan.”

Salih Yoluc

“We’ve had good results so far, but we really want to win so we can close down the points difference to the championship leader. I expect we will get to run in varied weather conditions and that’s one aspect that is bound to be unpredictable. I believe we will be strong and if we have some luck on our side, for a change, then we should be good.”

TF Sport shine at WEC Silverstone with runner-up position

TF Sport shine at WEC Silverstone with runner-up position

TF Sport looked set to take their maiden victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend (18-19 August) at Silverstone, but ultimately the team had to be content with the runner-up position having dominated from the front. The second podium in three starts in the series marked another strong performance, but ultimately, they left their home race disappointed.

Jonny Adam joined Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood in the #90 Aston Martin Vantage for the third round of the championship and along with Salih qualified a solid third in the LMGTE Am class. Salih was charged with the opening stint and mindful that a race can be lost – and not won – on the opening lap, the Turkish driver opted to take a conservative approach at the green flag.

This payed dividends as cars ahead clashed and Salih competed the first lap of the race leading the class, setting the stage for the six hours of racing ahead. Despite losing the lead to the #56 Team Project entry, Salih’s opening stint was strong, keeping the two Dempsey-Proton cars behind under sustained pressure.

Charlie took over from Salih and continued to hold position and despite having to defend, was able to close the gap from 16 seconds to run directly behind the leader before he ended his run. Salih was next up before handing back to Charlie as the duo maintained position and kept the pressure on for the lead.

A safety car intervention in the third stint of the race however proved to be pivotal in the race. The rules dictate that a team cannot pit during the first three laps of the period. TF Sport pitted at the end of the third lap but unfortunately, despite the safety car having crossed the line, the pit remained shut. After a period of consultation, it was deemed that the #90 had entered the pits fractionally too early.

The final third of the race saw Jonny take his double stint, immediately making a great pass for the lead into Brooklands on lap 120. The penalty notice came through at this point and the team opted to take the 75-second stop-go penalty immediately.

Jonny resumed in second position, but any hope of victory had evaporated and despite his best efforts, the team had to accept second position. Whist disappointed with the result, it was TF Sport’s second podium position in three starts and the additional 18 points move the team fifth in the GTE Am standings with five rounds of the Super Season remaining.

Charlie Eastwood

“It was a good race from start to finish for us, we executed everything we needed to do and all of us performed at the top of our own FIA driver ratings. We got a bit unlucky with the penalty, it was one of those hit or miss situations. We missed the pit line by six seconds and that cost us a 75-second stop-go which really is quite harsh. It shows how much pace we had that we could recover from that to get P2.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“Ahead of the weekend we would have taken P2 to be honest. We couldn’t have done anything different really, if we’d stayed out and they’d come in, they would have won anyway and we’d have been second; if we’d followed them in we would both have got a penalty and we’d still be second. It’s lucky for the (race winning) #77 car in terms of the championship but overall Salih, Jonny and Charlie were all good, the team performed well, so we can be happy with our performance.”

Salih Yoluc

“It’s hard to be happy with a second position when you should have won. It’s unfortunate for us that the #77 car won the race and we were second as we should have closed the gap to them in the championship.”

Jonny Adam

“It’s good to get on the podium but it would have been nicer had we won it and it’s a shame as we all had good pace and we all drove well. It’s just one of those things, but other than that it was really nice to get back in the car and we had a good strategy in terms of tyre choice and setup for the race. Looking ahead to Fuji, the track should suit the car, so I’m looking forward to the fly-aways.”

FIA World Endurance Championship duties resume for TF Sport at Silverstone

FIA World Endurance Championship duties resume for TF Sport at Silverstone

TF Sport are looking forward to its home race this coming weekend (18 – 19 August) as the FIA World Endurance Championship travels to Silverstone for the third round of the 2019/19 Super Season.

As previously confirmed, Jonny Adam joins the team for the next three rounds of the championship with the blessing of Aston Martin Racing, teaming up with Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood in the #90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

TF Sport have shown great pace so far in the Super Season, finishing a fighting second in round one at Spa-Francorchamps, but at Le Mans, a failure to finish after more than 22 hours of competition proved costly in terms of championship points.

Now the team are all set for Silverstone, the circuit where they won in style earlier this year in British GT and in 2017 took their maiden win in the European Le Mans Series. Silverstone has been kind to TF Sport, with the team now seeking to add to the 18 points secured at Spa and close the gap to the GTE Am class leaders.

Charlie Eastwood

“I’m looking forward to getting back out in the GTE to set the record straight after Le Mans. We showed our pace and Spa and Silverstone is our home race for the team. We all know the track very well and we’re looking for a good result.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“I’m looking forward to this one, we have a good chance of success and we’ve always been very good around here. We are not under any illusion it’ll be easy but hopefully we can close the gap this Sunday and get ourselves back in the hunt. It’s along championship ahead – we’ll take the same view in maximising our potential at every round and hopefully we can get back on the top step for the second year running.”

Salih Yoluc

“I’ve had a lot of good results at Silverstone and like the circuit. We have a strong car, strong team, and we do have some catching up to do after the unfortunate DNF at Le Mans. So, the goal here is to get the maximum points possible.”

Jonny Adam

“I am really looking forward to this weekend and re-joining with everyone TF Sport. It’s our home round at WEC so we’ll be aiming to get a great result. Salih and Charlie have already been on the podium this year at Spa, so we’ll be aiming to get another and kick-start their WEC championship campaign in style.”

A late race exit for TF Sport at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

A late race exit for TF Sport at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

It wasn’t to be this year for TF Sport in what was its second 24 Hours of Le Mans. From the outset, the team battled on, but early safety car interventions, damage to the #90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE during the night and finally a mechanical failure resulted in a late race retirement from the toughest event on the calendar.

Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Charlie Eastwood paired up once again in what was the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season. Having finished a fighting second at Spa-Francorchamps, the British-based team believed for a podium position in the 24 Hours of Le Mans was a real possibility.

Lining up sixth in the LMGTE Am class after a strong performance from all three drivers in qualifying, Euan took the start of the race, immediately gaining two positions to run fourth in class. The timing of two safety cars however resulted the team dropping down to eighth following Euan’s first stint and a double from Salih.

Charlie resumed with the team maintaining position into the night until debris from another car struck the Aston Martin ahead of the stop on lap 149, where the team went to work replacing the bonnet. The impact however had damaged the bonnet pins and it took the team several minutes to fit the spare. Undaunted, the team and drivers pushed on only for a starter motor issue to cost further time in the morning; the team having worked around the problem from lap 274.

Having lost time in the pits, a dream result was no longer a possibility and with the race coming to its conclusion, Euan took over for a double stint with 22 hours complete. Unfortunately, he made a small mistake, and this resulted in a high-speed run though the gravel trap and subsequent driveshaft failure. Despite the best efforts of the team, the race was over with less than an hour of running to go.

Charlie Eastwood

“It wasn’t the result that we’d hoped for as the race threw various hurdles, the last of which we fell at in the last hour. The team and drivers all showed great courage to keep pushing, even when we were out of contention. Now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season as we’ve not scratched the surface of what we can do as a team.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“What could go wrong went wrong this year which is a huge shame. We lost nearly 30 minutes in the pits with problems and that took us out of contention and we just wanted to bring the car home. Euan made a mistake sadly and this resulted in us not finishing the race. It wasn’t to be, so we look forward to our third visit to Le Mans at the end of the WEC Super Season.”

Salih Yoluc

“Everything went wrong but we kept pushing on. I ran early on in the race and even then it was a real battle on the track and I was caught up in slow zones that cost us over a lap. I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support, sometimes it’s not meant to be.”

Euan Hankey

“Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it to the finish due to my mistake in the last stint which popped a drive shaft. We were already out of contention having suffered multiple issues. I want to apologise and thank all of the boys at TF Sport who worked tirelessly over the two weeks and deserved a finish. The same goes to my very fast teammates who gave everything despite the setbacks.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans beckons again for TF Sport

The 24 Hours of Le Mans beckons again for TF Sport

Having shone at every level in GT Racing, TF Sport are set for its second 24 Hours of Le Mans this coming Saturday (16 June, 2018,) aiming to add the most famous race on the calendar to its already impressive tally of success.

Fielding the #90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE with Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Charlie Eastwood, the team have high expectations following a debut finish of seventh in the LMGTE-Am class in 2017.

Testing last Sunday saw the team notch up 59 laps during the day of running and the team are hoping to carry the momentum from its superb debut FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps where they finished second in class, just two-tenths of a second behind the race winner.

While the team have very high expectations of a strong result, they are well-aware of the pitfalls of 24-Hour races and the competition that will come from the other 12 runners in the class.

Charlie Eastwood

“I almost literally cannot wait! It’s not just the race, but that’s a huge element, it the whole thing, the build up to the event and all that goes with it. From a young age I’ve followed this race and to be taking part at this early stage of my career is something very special.

“The test was useful, all about mileage and track time rather than chasing any times. I completed my mandatory number of laps as a rookie at this circuit, and had a few extra, so that is a bonus. The weather forecast doesn’t look promising though with rain predicted. We’d all rather have a dry race as it’s one less variable for us to work with.

“I think we’re all at the top of our driver ranking classes, so we have a very good chance of a good result.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“This is one of those races where you can say ‘who knows?’ it really is a very tough race. We showed well in our first WEC race with our P2 result. I think the Le Mans field will be very competitive but we also have a stellar line-up and we will have decent pace.

“Last year we were faster than the class winner and for this race it’s all about staying out of trouble; it’s a really fine line between pushing and going fast and not making any mistakes. If we have a trouble-free event, I think we should be on the podium.”

Salih Yoluc

“Le Mans is special, not just to me but for everyone in the motorsport world. It’s the biggest single race, probably bigger than any Grand Prix.

“Everybody dreams of racing at Le Mans. I’ve got two shots at this in the WEC Super Season. To win is always the ambition and would also be a huge relief. So that’s the aim but you always need luck at Le Mans. We’ll see what happens, but we’re good enough to win definitely.”

Euan Hankey

“I can’t wait! We had the pace to win last year and it was an amazing experience. I pray we can have the same package in terms of pace as in 2017. I think we’re all on the pace but at Le Mans it really isn’t all about lap time, it’s about no mistakes.

“I’m looking forward to being a celebrity again for all of those two minutes at the driver parade – the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life – I now know what Brad Pitt feels like!”

Stunning start for TF Sport in the FIA World Endurance Championship

Stunning start for TF Sport in the FIA World Endurance Championship

It was a near perfect start for TF Sport at the very highest level in the FIA World Endurance Championship, as just 0.2s separated them from a sensational debut win in the series on Saturday in what was a thrilling battle with the factory Aston Martin entry in the LMGTE Pro-Am class at Spa-Francorchamps.

After a pre-season test at Paul Ricard, plus additional testing in Europe, TF Sport were as prepared as they could be they could be heading into their maiden season in WEC. Having won in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, then in European Le Mans Series, the team arrived ready and battling for victories.

Qualifying didn’t go as planned with a setup issues on the #90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE costing both Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey dearly, but come race day, the pre-season hard work showed dividends.

Yoluc started the race from sixth and moved fourth from the get-go, showing clear intentions from the start. It was a very strong stint from the Bronze driver, who later opted to cede positions to the Pro drivers ahead before pitting for Charlie Eastwood.
Undeterred by this being his first WEC start, Eastwood wasted no time in closing the gap to those ahead in class, cutting the gap from some 80 seconds to 40 by the end of his stint, before Euan Hankey was handed the reins to bring the car home.

The gap hovered around the 35-second mark as Hankey and the factory #98 driven by Pedro Lamy traded best lap times. A safety car however closed the field with Hankey just six seconds adrift of the class, leader.

In a thrilling conclusion to six hours of racing, Hankey gave his absolute best to gain the win, before being pushed wide, and this resulted in the second-place finish; an astonishing result for the team on its WEC debut.

Charlie Eastwood

“We got a lot more than we really thought coming into this weekend with the second place, only two-tenths behind, so it was a massive battle in the last stint with Euan on Pedro Lamy so in the end a one-two for Aston Martin with TF on the podium in its first WEC race. It’s also a fantastic result for myself in what is just my second ever endurance race in what is a big pond – WEC – so it gives us massive confidence for the rest of the season.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“To come into the FIA World Endurance Championship and to do that is a fantastic achievement. In saying that, we had a little luck and there’s still a few things to improve on; we need to clean some things up. Qualifying we didn’t get right so to come away with P2 demonstrates a lot of potential, so quite happy.”

Salih Yoluc

“It was a good result. The Porsches were super-quick around here and, in some ways, we gained from the problems they had but we also drove without any mistakes, so I am very happy with the result. For my own performance, I am happy. The first stint was more straight forward, the second was tougher with a lot of traffic so it was about managing that and I think I do an okay job there. Overall very happy with the result.”

Euan Hankey

“We’ve entered from the European Championship to the Word Championship this year and we’ve just had our first ever podium at our first round, so we’re happy with second – a bit deflated at the same time, as to lose by two-tenths… I gave everything, gave my hardest. We made a good account of ourselves for the rest of the season.”

A new era for TF Sport in the FIA World Endurance Championship

A new era for TF Sport in the FIA World Endurance Championship

TF Sport are set to embark on a new and exciting chapter in its short history, as the team travel to Belgium for the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this coming weekend (May 3-5, 2018), the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

While the team competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017, the opening round of the WEC Super Season will be the team’s first race at the very highest level in GT racing; an exciting challenge for the team as it fields the #90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE with Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey and Charlie Eastwood.

Pre-season preparation has been extensive with a comprehensive test programme in Europe including two days of running at the fabled Belgian circuit. The team know the GTE well from the 2017 season but are now step up in the LMGTE Am class to compete against eight other rivals in what will be a full grid of 37 cars.

Charlie Eastwood

“I am really looking forward to the first round of WEC at Spa. The season has started quite late so there has been a massive build up to this point. I think we have a very strong team in and outside the car so I’m really hoping for a great result to kick off our WEC season.”

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“This is our biggest year in motorsport and it’s a privilege to be racing at such a level and against such strong competition. We’re as prepared as we can be, and we think we have everything in hand. Making predictions at this point is difficult, but we’re a top team with top drivers, so we will give our all, both on and off the track, with the aim of securing podium positions.”

Salih Yoluc

“Charlie and Euan – they are fast, no surprises there. We’ll have some good competition this year, nine cars in our class, so it will be tough but fun as well. The Porsche’s have been super-fast, so I expect it will be a big fight with them. I’ve raced with Euan since 2015 and I’m hoping this will be the biggest year of both of our racing careers. We are ready.”

Euan Hankey

“I’m really looking forward to Spa. It’s the first time for the team, myself, Salih and Charlie to be in involved in the FIA World Endurance Championship. We feel privileged to be on the world stage in such a prestigious championship. It’s obviously going to be difficult going up against some of the best drivers in the world. It’s also hard to know where our pace is in relative terms to everyone else because it’s a new BoP for this year and it’s hard to tell from the Prologue at Paul Ricard. It’s not going to be the strongest track for our package but I’m very much looking forward to it!”

Charlie confirmed, TF Sport confirm FIA World Endurance Championship intentions for 2018/19

Charlie confirmed, TF Sport confirm FIA World Endurance Championship intentions for 2018/19

Since its inception in 2014, TF Sport has enjoyed phenomenal success in GT Racing with championship honours in the Blancpain Endurance Cup, Michelin Le Mans Cup, British GT as well as wins and a title challenge in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). Now the British-based team, which continues to enjoy factory support from Aston Martin Racing, is delighted to confirm that it will compete in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) ‘super-season’ in the GT-Am category subject to entry acceptance*

The successful partnership of Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey is set to continue, the pair stepping up to WEC from ELMS, alongside UK rising star Charlie Eastwood.

Yoluc and Hankey have competed together with TF Sport with great success, winning the teams’ championship in 2016 in the Michelin Le Mans Cup on the back of two wins. In 2017 they raced in ELMS, taking victory in the opening round at Silverstone and then securing multiple podium positions on the way to a fighting second position in the championship.

Eastwood joins TF Sport having wrapped up the Porsche Carrera Cup in the UK in 2017. The Belfast born driver enjoyed a successful karting background from 2004 – including the Rotax World Championship in 2012 and the European championship in 2013. He then started his single seater career in Formula 4 in 2014 before taking on the challenge of the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. A move to Formula Renault followed but it was the move to the Porsche Carrera Cup that brought him onto the GT radar in 2016.

With everything now in place, TF Sport, Yoluc, Hankey and Eastwood are set to embark on a programme at the very pinnacle of GT racing as they prepare for the eight-round 2018/19 championship which gets underway in May 2018 at Spa Francorchamps. This is followed by no less than two races at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as rounds in Japan, China and the US in what really is a super-season at the very highest level in motorsport.

Tom Ferrier, TF Sport Director

“It’s a huge honour to be competing in the World Endurance Championship next year; it’s by far our biggest ever programme and it underlines the strength of our team at every level. We have had huge success in the past two years in very tough championships such as Blancpain and ELMS so I feel we are ready to move up.

“We have a really big challenge in WEC but we’re confident that we will be competitive and deliver the results that we, our supporters and partners, now expect from us.”

Charlie Eastwood

“It’s going to be a big challenge to step up to what is the very top in GT Racing, it’s a big old step. With the line-up we have, we are confident we’ll be quick in each of our driver categories. I won the Carrera Cup in 2017 but remain Silver, so it is the ideal partnership with Salih and Euan.

“I met with Tom (Ferrier) and some of the guys in the team five weeks ago for the first time and it was a great meeting. It really kick-started the talks and the Friday before Christmas it was all confirmed. It’s great to know so far in advance what you’re doing for the coming season and with Tom’s amazing record with TF Sport and the driver combination we have, we’re all pretty buzzed up and raring to go.

“There’s a lot of unknowns for all of us obviously, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. I know Silverstone and Le Mans and we’re planning on a good test programme. So as a team we all have the same desire and I can’t wait to get started!”

Salih Yoluc

“As a team, it is very exciting for all of us to be on the very highest stage of sports car racing. I’m really looking forward to exciting races and of course our first WEC win! We’ve been quite unlucky in ELMS this year in so many ways, but I hope we were just suffering a little to make the future victories even sweeter, with a change in fortune.

“Being able to fight to be a world champion and also a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner is something very special and we’ll do our best and make sure we enjoy the journey.”

Euan Hankey

“Myself, Salih, Charlie and TF Sport are really on a fantastic journey and it’s great to be a part of this programme. We’re under no illusions as to how hard WEC will be as it’s the very very top category of racing in the world. But in saying that, we’ve got a great track record, a mega team, so there’s no reason why we can’t build and continue to show what we can do, even in WEC!”