TF Sport chief Tom Ferrier has credited the outfit’s ‘winning mentality’ as paramount to claiming this year’s British GT3 teams’ and drivers’ titles at Donington Park last weekend.
Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam finished second on Sunday to overturn their 11.5-point championship deficit, while the result also guaranteed a maiden teams’ crown for a squad in its third season of domestic GT3 competition.
Three victories this year - two in as many opening weekends for Johnston and Adam, and another at Spa for team-mates Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes - were crucial to maintaining the momentum generated at the end of 2015, according to Ferrier.
“This is the team’s first really big achievement, which didn’t really sink in until taking a step back on Monday morning,” he said. “But this has also been a long time coming. We were good over the second half of 2015, which culminated in winning our first GT3 race at Donington. This year’s been a progression from that; putting everything together over a full season has been key.
“We built up to winning, achieved it and our expectations changed. The confidence taken from winning those first two races of this season, and then at Spa where Jon and Mark won after the guys had also worked so hard to repair Derek and Jonny’s car, reinforced that same winning mentality. We wanted to get better and better.”
Ferrier is also unequivocal when asked about the single biggest difference between this and previous British GT campaigns.
“It’s definitely been having Jonny onboard,” he said. “He’s had such a positive impact on Derek’s driving and helping to push the team forwards. He came in as reigning champion and knew the V12 Vantage like the back of his hand. So his level helped the team take a collective step forward and deserves a lot of credit.
“But I’m also delighted for Jon and Mark, without whom we wouldn’t have won the teams’ title. They’ve been brilliant over the second half of this year and obviously winning at Spa was a big moment for them. The fact they weren’t far off going to Donington with a shot at the title says everything you need to know. We saw what they were capable of when they first tested with us in December last year. Mark’s probably now at the level Derek was this time last season; he has a lot of natural talent.”
All of which now begs the question: what plans for 2017? Johnston has made no secret of his desire to defend the drivers’ crown alongside Adam at TF Sport, while Farmer and Barnes also look comfortable in the team’s surroundings.
“Nothing’s been signed but our main aim is to continue with the same driver line-up as this year,” added Ferrier. “We’ve enjoyed a great 2016. To beat a team of Barwell’s quality over the course of a season is very impressive. So there’s no reason to change anything.”