Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Charlie Eastwood seals Blancpain GT Title in thrilling finale

Sealing another incredible season in GT racing, this weekend we were trackside to celebrate as Aston Martin Racing Junior, Charlie Eastwood added the Blancpain GT Endurance title to his impressive list of on-track accolades. 

With a strong championship advantage heading into the weekend, Charlie took to the wheel for the final round of the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Following a dominant win last time out at the 24 Hours of Spa event, Charlie together with his teammates Ahmad Al Harthy and Salih Yoluc only had to finish 4th to seal the deal on another championship for the TF Sport outfit. 

With a steady performance taking them to a 2nd place finish on Sunday afternoon, Charlie had the honours of crossing the line to claim both Driver and Team Championships in the Pro-AM Class.

Not leaving anything to chance, the team set about testing an array of car and tyre set ups ahead of Sunday’s race. Qualifying 6th on the grid, with cool and calm heads, the squad were prepped and ready to tackle whatever the race would inevitably throw at them. 

Having forged their way forward in the opening lap of the race to 3rd on the road, just behind their title rivals, Salih was first at the wheel of the #97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, but his charge was halted as the safety car made an early appearance. Eventually racing resumed and before long it was time for Ahmad to take over, with a slick pit stop from the crew, they rejoined the track in 5th place with the cars ahead left to pit. Fighting it out, through a second safety car period which bunched up the pack, it was game on as their lead narrowed to just one point over their championship rival in the #74 RAM. Completing the final driver swap under Full Course Yellow, it was Charlie’s turn to take it to the flag. 

Putting his head down in signature style, Charlie focussed on gaining as much ground as possible, eyes firmly on the prize. However as the #74 RAM crashed out, it gifted the Oman Racing by TF Sport squad the title ahead of the flag. Of course, this only spurred Charlie on to further fire ahead of the Bentley and Tempesta cars in the closing stages to take 2nd place in the Pro-AM class. 

Crossing the line to celebrations in the pit lane, Charlie, Salih and Ahmad clinched both drivers’ and team championships, with Charlie earning his first title as an Aston Martin Racing Junior. 

Speaking of his and the team’s achievement, Charlie Eastwood:

“It’s amazing to win the Blancpain Pro-Am championship. We worked so hard for it all season, the TF Sport team have worked extremely hard to provide a competitive car that can challenge for class victories in every race”

Director of Infinity Sports Management, Harry Soden praises Charlie’s efforts:

“I am really pleased for Charlie and the team, they have worked really hard all season and to win both 24 Hours of Spa and the championship is a great achievement”

With success on his side, Charlie next joins the TF Sport crew for round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Fuji Speedway this weekend.