Charlie praises the car's outright speed in World Endurance Championship opener

Belfast born racer Charlie Eastwood mastered the challenging weather conditions to help score valuable points for TF Sport at the 4 Hours of Silverstone, the opening round of the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Finishing in 7th and scoring a point for pole in the hugely competitive LMGTE-Am class meant that TF Sport left Silverstone with seven points and the confidence that the all-new Aston Martin Vantage AMR has the underlying pace to challenge for pole and victory.

Charlie Eastwood described the race: “I am pleased to score solid points but after starting on pole position. I feel we had the pace to take the class victory. We had a number of mechanical issues that hampered our progress and the timing of the safety car really put us on the back foot, but to only finish a minute behind the leader shows the true speed of the car.”

Racing with a brand new red livery, Charlie’s stint began on the intermediate tyres after a short rain shower appeared midway through the race. Running in fourth place, the Belfast born driver showed brilliant pace lapping one to two seconds faster than his closest rivals. 

As the track quickly dried up, TF Sport and Eastwood made the decision to switch to the dry weather tyres. This inspired move was quickly hampered by a safety car which allowed other teams the opportunity to pit while losing minimal time - dropping TF Sport down the field.

Throughout the race, the car suffered brake and fuel issues which prevented the team from challenging for the class victory. All three drivers were able to extract the maximum out of the car, but the issues that occurred meant that the team were always playing catch up on the rest of the field.

On a dry track, the multiple WEC podium finisher showed searing pace lapping at some points fastest in class. The speed in the car was evident throughout the weekend with Eastwood setting the fastest GTE lap time with a 1min 56.520 on lap 75.

Alongside Charlie, teammates Salih Yoluc and new teammate Jonathan Adam showed strong teamwork and competitiveness throughout the race. 

The next FIA World Endurance Championship round takes place at the Fuji Speedway on the 6th of October.

Adam Arbon