Redhill, Surrey-based TF Sport won the inaugural round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, a six-round championship which runs alongside the European Le mans Series.
The #34 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, with Salih Yoluc from Turkey taking the lead-off driving stint, lead from the first corner after an incident between the #88 Mentos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Egido Perfetti and the pole-sitting #7 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F458 Italia of Luigi Lucchini. The incident resulted in a drive-through penalty for the #88 car and it pitted after four laps, after which it did not rejoin.
Yoluc in the #34 car was then able to pull away from the pack before he passed the car to Euan Hankey. Hankey finished over 16 seconds clear of the #55 FFF Racing Team by ACM Mclaren 650S driven by Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Hiroshi Hamaguchi. The second FFF Racing Team by ACM car, the #5 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 did not start due to damage sustained in the first practice session.
The final podium slot was taken by the #26 Classic & Modern Racing Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 driven by Matthieu Vaxiviere and Nicolas Misslin. The #26 car finished just over 3 seconds ahead of the #51 AF Corse Ferrari F488 driven by Francesco Castellaci who was handed the car by Thomas Flohr. Castellaci was rapidly closing the gap to the #25 car but ran out of laps to claim a podium position.
Although the first round of the new-for-2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup yielded a modest field, it is clear how this series has been positioned to be attractive to the European-based amateur driver. After a race set in the picturesque landscape of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, this championship is bound to attract a lot of attention.
As an additional, and huge, incentive, the winners of the championship earn an entry into the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans
The cars will next see track action in the ‘Road to Le Mans’ race as part of the build-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18.