January 23, 2019
Reflecting on the 2018 season Tom would have taken away a lot of lessons, but a change of team and car over halfway through left him no chance to go on and get a solid championship result. The first half of the season was full of problems with two retirements in six races and issues in the others leaving him with a best result of 13th place.
With just three races remaining Tom switched to the Mercedes AMG-GT4 with Pro-Technika Motorsport and racing alongside Anna Walewska there were immediate improvements with Tom improving at Spa to finish in 8th place taking an impressive 2nd in the GT4 class. Tom then showed great consistency rounding off the season with two 10th place finishes at Brands Hatch and Donington Park with his true potential finally starting to be shown.
Over the winter Tom has kept himself busy having been offered some fantastic opportunities which has seen him compete in both the Gulf 12 Hour, with Aston Martin Racing, and 24 Hour of Dubai with Century Motorsport (BMW). Both saw Tom race in the GT4 class and at the Gulf 12 Hours Tom was in the Aston Martin Vantage, a great experience given that will be his car for 2019. Despite it being his debut in the car and the Yas Marina Circuit, Tom was quickest in class. But when his teammate ran into trouble at the start of the race it left Tom too much work to do to challenge for victory. However, the team never gave up and Tom was able to help the team recover to take a 4th place finish in the GT4 class.
As for the 24 hour of Dubai, Tom and the Century Motorsport team led in the BMW after seven hours before a mechanical failure hit which set them back massively but they were able to keep pushing and recovered to finish in 7th. Two gruelling endurance races at two new tracks in two new cars and two good performances. You couldn’t have asked for a better winter!
It was perhaps those performances that has helped Tom to secure a seat in the British GT Championship along with Rory Collingbourne with Josh Price and Patrick Kibble in the sister car.
The TF Sport team have a fantastic pedigree in Endurance racing and currently compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. They also raced in last year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans which leaves a great path for Tom to reach the top should he continue to impress the team.
Before he can consider doing any of that Tom must first focus on the task in hand which is getting good results this season. TF Sport have a brilliant track record in British GT, since their debut season in 2014 they have won three drivers championships and one drivers championship back in 2016. In fact, their worst result as 3rd place in 2014 & 2015 and there has only been one year they haven’t made the driver’s championship podium.
That could be argued as pressure, but that is exactly what Tom thrives under and the 20th April couldn’t come sooner enough! This year the calendar consists of Spa, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Oulton Park and two visits to Donington Park.
Teams haven’t all announced full driver line ups yet but the grid already contains two ex-British Touring Car drivers in Josh Price with Billy Johnson (USA) and Scott Maxwell coming from the other side of the Atlantic to compete.
It’s going to be a great season and Tom will be hoping to get things off to a positive start at Oulton Park. Regular updates of Tom’s progress will be posted right here on the YRDA website along with all #YRDA social media channels.