Podium finishes stolen from Canning at Oulton Park

April 25, 2019

British GT

Tom Canning had plenty of positives to take away from the British GT season opener at Oulton Park. Driving the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with TF Sport alongside Ash Hand, Tom’s blistering pace saw him top the time sheets on Friday. After a good qualifying session podiums and wins looked to be on the cards for rounds one and two, until things took a turn for the worst leaving the end results very unreflective on Tom’s performances.

A new season and just coming off the back of being admitted into the Aston Martin Racing Academy there were plenty of new beginnings for Tom coming into his second season. A new team, a new teammate, a new car and more experience after a successful winter.  

Tom was quick out of the blocks on Friday going quickest in the GT4 Pro class in both sessions! Saturday’s sessions proved those results were far from a fluke with Tom and Ash finishing fourth in both sessions. Now flying with confidence expectations for qualifying had grown with the boys hoping to get their season off to a good start. 

Tom met those expectations by qualifying second in what is an extremely competitive class. 

Round one saw Ash start the race for the team hoping to bring back the car in a provisional podium position. Things looked to be going well until Ash had approached the end of his stint where he was hit by another car leading to an incident. The damage picked up in the process was too much for the team to recover and it brought an abrupt end to the race for the TF Sport car and left Tom and Ash thinking what could have been.

Heading into round two despite the issues of the opening race Tom still had his sights set on a win or podium. Starting fifth, Tom made a good start and broke away with the front pack. With the pace to start making more moves Tom began applying more and more pressure forcing defensive driving ahead as the battling started.

Things seemed to be going well with a long race still ahead, but history then repeated itself after contact with another car saw Tom dropping right to the back of the field! However, Tom dug deep and started to immediately climb back up the field before Ash took over and brought the car home ninth in class.

To go from being quickest in practice and qualifying second in class to getting a DNF and a recovered ninth in class is a bitter blow for the whole team. But those results did not come from a lack of pace, incidents are a part of racing and Tom will have to take all the positives from rounds one and two into the rest of the season. 

Tom Canning: “After a rough start to the race we did not let our heads drop and pulled it back to make the best of a bad situation. The team did an exceptional job all weekend and did not put a foot wrong. The TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage was truly a pleasure to drive and I cannot wait until round two at Snetterton on the 18th and 19th May. Aston Martin Racing Academy provided all of the preparation for the race and support throughout the whole race weekend. I would also like to thank YRDA for their continued support.” 

It’s just three weeks until rounds three and four take place at Snetterton. If Tom and TF Sport weren’t ones to watch already, they certainly are now!