Thelma hit the race track for the last time this year when she competed in the penultimate rounds of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship at the Le Mans Circuit. And what a track to make your 2019 farewell!
The Apollo Tyres TOR Truck (aka Thelma), her driver Shane Brereton and the whole racing team had a good weekend, competing in what can only be described as some rather eventful races. An eighth-placed finish in race one meant Thelma secured pole position in race two. Suffice to say, things were looking pretty good. After the second race was red flagged to remove debris from the track, Shane claimed fourth
place following a titanic battle with Championship contenders Antonio Albacete and Jochen Hahn.
Race three was just as thrilling. Starting in thirteenth place in wet conditions, Shane moved Thelma further up the field until a brake disc failure in the closing laps resulted in a tenth-place finish.
The fourth and final race saw even more competitive action, but a drive through penalty for exceeding track limits and further penalties saw the team complete their racing weekend in fourteenth place. Speaking about the experience, Shane said: “Starting in pole position for the second race was the highlight of our weekend and had circumstances been different we may have been celebrating a podium finish. “It was an epic battle with the Championship’s two leading drivers behind me and it showed how far we had come as a team to keep them at bay.” But what about those penalties in the final race, Shane?
He explained: “I couldn’t remember whether the pit lane limit was 50 or 60 for the drive through so erred on the side of caution and I got that wrong.” Clearly, there were highs and there were lows, but the team learned a lot about Thelma’s capabilities on the race track over the course of the weekend. And they have come away knowing they need to work hard refining final settings in future events. Overall, the Le Mans event was a great success, with a record attendance of nearly 60,000 people – remarkable given the changeable weather.
And Thelma and the team did a great job both on and off the track, showing guests and visitors from across Europe what Apollo Tyres are really made of. Let’s see what 2020 holds for Thelma and the team…