Turner-Fannin’s TF Aston win lively Race 1


It was an intense and lively Race 1 at Silverstone, in a warm and humid afternoon, rich in action, contacts and punctures. But the fight and the drama did not affect the final result, as the debuting TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage V12 of Darren Turner and Jody Fannin dominated from qualifying, taking pole and leading the entire race. A safety-car period in the last minutes of the race cancelled the 40-second lead but didn’t change the situation. Maxime Soulet and Francesco Pastorelli, the new pair of V8 Racing’s  Corvette #4 took second, ahead of Joel Camathias-Matteo Beretta. The Autorlando Porsche put a brilliant performance to take third overall and the win in GTS, thanks to a perfect last-minute move of Beretta on Giorgio Roda, second with Paolo Ruberti ahead of the AF Corse sister car of Claudio Sdanewitsch-Federico Leo.

The top championship contenders remained out of top three, with Pastorelli-Ramos fourth and taking some useful points while Montermini-Schirò finishd only tenth after a late puncture.

At the start, on dry track, Turner keeps the advantage of the pole ahead of Montermini, while the Audi of Campaniço, starting from front row, has to let pass Mavlanov, Aicart and Retera. Poorly qualified in the wet, the Corvette of Soulet is already fifth on first lap ahead of Campaniço, Hamilton, Camathias and Ruberti, who had a poor start from row 2.

Soulet is now fighting with Aicart for fourth and there is some rubbing between the two. The battle is animating the race, but in lap 5, as Soulet passes the Ferrari on the outside, Aicart brakes late at the chicane and sends the Corvette into a spin. Soulet rejoins in 12th and Aicart will later get a drive-through. In the meantime, there is contact also between Mavlanov and Montermini at the chicane, with the Italian losing eight positions and finds himself right in front of Soulet who gets past after another contact.

In the lead, Turner has built a 15-second gap by lap 10, over Mavlanov and Retera, with Campaniço in fourth (after Aicart serves the drive-through), followed by Hamilton, Ruberti , Camathias and Ramos. On lap 12, Retera has to stop with a punctured front left tire while Soulet passes Hamilton and one lap later takes third from Campaniço, shortly before the driver change window. There is more fighting, now between Montermini and Camathias, with the Italian hitting the Swiss, who spins. Zampieri also gets a drive-through for the earlier incident.

After the changes, Fannin is on the lead ahead of Francesco Pastorelli, Tutumlu, Roda, Beretta and Patel, while Zampieri stops on the track after a puncture. In lap 26 is Retera who puntures again, followed by Barba, whose car gets stuck in corner 1 with a piece of body work under the rear left wheel, which prompts the safety-car out. There are more puncture victims (Gattuso and Montermini) after the restart five minutes from the end, with two lively final laps which see as main fact Beretta overtaking Roda for the GTS win.