TF Sport boss Tom Ferrier hopes that Derek Johnston can recapture the form he showed at Rockingham to win despite a success penalty in this weekend’s British GT championship finale at Donington.
Johnston and team-mate Jonny Adam had led the points since winning the first two rounds of the year, including at Rockingham with a 20-second penalty, but now trail Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen by 11.5 points after a botched pitstop cost them victory in race two at Snetterton. The Aston Martin will have to serve a 15 second penalty in the Decider, five seconds less than their counterparts in the Barwell Lamborghini, who won both races in Norfolk.
Adam sealed the British GT title alongside Andrew Howard at Donington a year ago while Johnston and Matt Bell led home a TF Sport 1-2, which Ferrier hopes will be a good omen.
“Derek absolutely loves the place, as a team we had a 1-2 there last year so that’s what we need to do again – it would be lovely if we could replicate that!” he told Racing.GT. “Donington is Derek’s home circuit and if there’s anywhere he’s going to be super-fast, it’s there.
“He’s one of the only drivers I know that likes Rockingham and we all saw what happened there, so our aim is to try and do what we did at Rockingham and see if we can win the race with a big penalty. I think we should have the pace to do it, coming off a test we had there a couple of weeks ago. It’s going to be very hard to win it, but it’s not impossible!
Johnston and Adam can become champions if they win with a car in-between themselves and the Minshaw/Keen Lamborghini, which is where TF Sport’s second car of Jon Barnes and Mark Farmer could have a part to play, with no time penalties to serve.
— British GT (@BritishGT) August 9, 2016
However, Ferrier accepts that it will be difficult to make any pre-arranged plans and that much will come down to decisions made on the fly, with title outsiders Rick Parfitt Jr. and Seb Morris in the Team Parker Racing Bentley also needing to to be taken into consideration.
“We’re not going into the race any differently as we have done all year, we’ve got to try to get ourselves in contention to be definitely on the podium,” he said. “But even if Derek and Jonny finish second, Minshaw and Keen only have to finish fifth, so it’s not going to be easy. Having an extra car in between Minshaw and Keen will be very helpful – if Mark and Jon were leading the race and Derek and Jonny were second, I would hope that they might want to see their team-mates win the championship, but we’ll see how it pans out.
“I don’t think we’ll be trying to manufacture anything from the start of the weekend – it will just be a case of seeing where we are come 20 minutes to go. To get both cars in that position first will be hard enough anyway!”
Barwell will also have a second car in the mix without any time penalties, driven by Liam Griffin and Alexander Sims, while the Ecurie Ecosse McLaren of Alasdair McCaig and Rob Bell and the returning Beechdean Aston Martin driven by Andrew Howard and Rory Butcher will also be expecting to fight for victory in the Donington Decider. Click here to see the full entry list.