It’s game on for TF Sport heading to Austin, Texas for the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, The Lone Star Le Mans.
Two victories (Japan and China) from three starts put the team to the head of the championship late last year, but a rare engine issue in Bahrain dropped Salih Yoluç, Jonny Adam and Charlie Eastwood to fourth position in the standings, albeit just 15 points shy of the title lead.
The trio team up once again in the #90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE and heading to the US for the second time in the team’s short history. Despite a lack of testing opportunities, the team arrives in Texas confident of its chances of victory, not just through the proven speed of both the package and drivers, but also because success ballast has been reduced to the base 15 kilos.
While the Circuit of the Americas is new to Charlie and Salih, Jonny has raced there in 2015 with Aston Martin Racing. The circuit will be familiar, but for the 2020 round of the Championship, the notorious bumps have been removed, meaning one less factor for the team to have to take into account at this new venue.
The race weekend takes an unusually compressed format with two practice sessions on the Saturday and the 6 Hours of COTA Sunday 23 February from 12 Noon CST.
“We’re still very much in the championship battle and that remains our objective for COTA, Sebring and Spa rounds ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans where it’s likely to be decided. We’re looking forward to racing at COTA for the first time, it’s a new experience for us and we think we’ll be in good shape and able to challenge for the win.”
“The last race wasn’t what we wanted and the DNF has set us back. We are looking forward to COTA though; we drop most of the success ballast and the long straights and fast corners should be good for the Vantage.”
“COTA is a round I think we are all looking forward too. The circuit should suit the strengths of the Vantage and it’s a long technical lap with challenges. With the resurfacing, it should provide good grip for everyone in all classes. A podium would be nice to regain momentum following the last round.”
“This circuit should really suit the new Aston Martin, especially with very little success ballast. Bahrain didn’t go to plan for us which made the winter break much longer, but we are all hungry to get back on that top step again at COTA.”