|Salih Yoluc and Oman Racing with TF Sport teammates Charlie Eastwood and Ahmad Al Harthy took the lead of the Blancpain GT Series ProAM Drivers Championship, after a strong showing in Paul Ricard on Saturday.
With a combined time of a 1:54:185 around the infamous French circuit, the trio made it three out of three pole positions ahead of the six-hour flagship race.
Salih took the wheels of the Aston Martin for the race start. but amidst the chaos that consumed the opening laps, the Turkish driver dropped down a few places landing in third in class.
After managing a safety car, Salih remained in third place in class until another safety car was brought out initiating the first round of pitstops.
Ultimately Salih ended up second in class (P22 overall) and was finally able to circulate Paul Ricard without issues. Clinging to the cars ahead and setting successive personal best laps, he was able to pass over the Vantage to Ahmad in a fantastic position.
After managing a safety car on lap 54 due to the #33 Ferrari running off track, Ahmad set his sights on the class lead. A duo of unexpected pit-stops dropped the #97 out of the contention after some tyre deflation concerns. With the car seeming healthy and the tyres perfectly fine, Ahmad put in a strong recovery drive to remain in position before his job came to an end.
Charlie then stepped in to take the final stint and begun to take the fight to the leaders. He came out of the pits in third place and P26 overall and had cut the gap to the Ram Racing Mercedes in second place drastically, before another safety car was brought out preventing the team from sneaking a better result.
Salih and Oman Racing with TF Sport head to Spa in the drivers championship lead, but still seeking their first win.
The race was good and the start was quite hectic, but I avoided any drama that could have made things a lot worse. We were quite unlucky with the safety cars and the full course yellows, but we managed them quite well and put in a good recovery drive. We were unlucky to not win this one because we definitely had the pace, but we got the championship lead and we leave with a good result, so we hope to maintain that into the next round and go searching for our first win!