European le mans series – SPA – 27 September 2022
Spa weekend brings a top-4 finish
Sam was back in GTE action at the weekend, as the European Le Mans Series arrived at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Running in the #69 Oman Racing with TF Sport, Sam joined teammates Ahmad Al Harthy and Marco Sorensen for the penultimate race weekend of the season, looking for another strong result. A closely fought qualifying saw the Aston Martin Vantage GTE challenging at the top of the timesheets, and would line up on the front row of the GTE class. The trio was firmly in the mix at the front of the field throughout the four-hour race, eventually crossing the line in P4.
Sam returned to the Belgian circuit for a second time this year, having already contested the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa earlier in the summer. Running in the black and iridescent Vantage GTE, baseline pace appeared to be an improvement from the previous round, and the team set about honing the setup. These changes helped progress up the order further, and Sam’s teammate, Ahmad was then back in the hotseat for qualifying. With a strong initial lap, the team was in the mix at the front of the field, but further improvements as the clock ran down saw the #69 Aston Martin move up the order, ending the session in P2.
The race got underway in tricky conditions with a greasy, but drying track, with Ahmad taking the start. He protected his position in the opening laps before an early Safety Car intervention brought the field back under control. After briefly dropping a position, Ahmad moved into the lead when the lead pair were involved in an incident shortly before a further full course yellow period. After the first round of pitstops, the #69 continued to play a part in the battle for the race lead, pitting for a driver change to Sam just before the race reached half distance.
Joining the circuit now in P3, Sam was quickly up to speed and looking to close the gap to the leading pair. He continued to battle around the 7.004km circuit, holding station before being briefly pushed off course as the lead prototype battle forced Sam to take avoiding action. This slight skirmish saw Sam drop to P4, but he remained composed and quickly fought his way back and regained the position.
At just past the three-hour mark, Sam successfully concluded his stint, bringing the lead Aston Martin back into the pitlane for a final service, and a swap to Marco for the last stint. He rejoined the circuit in P4 and set about closing the gap to the leading trio, however a further extended Full Course Yellow period hampered progress as the pace was once again reduced. On the restart, Marco was immediately back on the pace, setting the quickest lap for the trio as he headed for the finish line. At the end of the 4 Hours of Spa, he brought the #69 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE home in a solid P4 to earn more important championship points.
“Fourth place was the best we could realistically achieve today. Pace was good in qualifying, and we were in the fight early on, but the various Full Course Yellows and Safety Cars didn’t work in our favour. The car felt strong, and it was great to be back in the mix this weekend, and to be able to put up a fight as one of the leaders. We know we have the pace, and we have shown that with results so far this season, so we will be pushing for another strong result and a return to the podium for the last round in Portimao in a few weeks.”
Sam returns to European Le Mans Series action at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal over the weekend, 14-16 October for the season finale.
GT World Challenge Europe – 5 september 2022
battling effort after initial bad fortune on hockenheim debut
Sam made his debut at Hockenheim over the weekend, returning to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup with Barwell Motorsport. However, an early puncture early forced an unscheduled stop, leading to a recovery drive over the remainder of the 3-hour battle…
gt world challenge europe – spa 24hr – 26 august 2022
further endurance entries added to 2022 campaign
Sam De Haan will expand his endurance racing programme even further this year, with confirmation of entry into the two remaining Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup rounds.