Round nine of the championship was significant in many ways. It marked a number of ‘lasts’ including the final race for the first-generation Aston Martin Vantage GT3 as well as the last race for 2016 champion Derek Johnston.
Mark Famer and Derek lined up fifth and sixth on the grid, both determined to end the season on a high. Mark made a good start, fending off the advances of Derek at the first turn, and was soon pressuring Flick Haigh for position. He duly moved third just ahead of a safety car period on lap 16.
Derek was next to pass Haigh and set about passing the #69 Barwell entry. Sadly, his hopes of a fairy-tale finale were about to be dashed. The #1 Team Parker car out-braked himself and hit the back of Derek’s Aston Martin at the Melbourne Hairpin, which in turn pushed him into the Lamborghini ahead. With damage to the #17 Aston Martin, Derek was forced to pull off and retire the car less than a lap later with a gearbox failure.
This left Mark to carry the TF Sport flag in second position, 14-seconds behind the #33 Lamborghini. It was an impressive sting as he more than halved the deficit before pitting and handing over to teammate Nicki Thiim.
Following the additional ten seconds success penalty in the stop, Nicki emerged in second position, 15 seconds behind. It was another sensation run from the Dane as he caught and passed Phil Keen for the lead with a great pass exiting turn one on lap 58. Nicki extended the advantage and took the chequered flag only for an additional 30-second to be added to his race result, dropping him to second.
The team claim the championship with 249 points, 8.5 clear of their nearest rival and begin preparations for the 2019 season with the all-new GT3 and GT4 Aston Martin Vantage.