A challenging weekend at LE MANS!
The penultimate round of this year’s FIA European Truck Racing Championship held in Le Mans, France, was a busy weekend for our team and our driver Terry. Although it was this season’s only event without any guests, the weather and the resulting track conditions kept us busy on both race days.
On Saturday, the weekend started with two free practice sessions in the morning and a qualifying session at lunchtime. Terry accomplished a couple of good laps and was motivated to push even further forward during the first race. He kept his place well off the start. Into the second corner and the first braking zone of the lap, however, he tried to make a move down the inside to gain a position when he locked up the brakes, bounced over the curb on the apex of the corner and collided with another driver while his truck was spinning. When he managed to get his race truck back on the track, he was at the back of the field. And yet, he posted some good lap times giving the team a lot of confidence for the next race.
Race 2 came around and once again Terry lined up on the grid. Based on the results of the first race, he had to start from close to the back of the pack. The race started well with Terry keeping his place and staying out of trouble. Some trucks ahead of him were not so lucky. There was some contact. Therefore, the race was temporarily halted while the debris was cleared from the track. When the race was restarted, Terry worked his way up through the field. Fighting with fellow Brit Oly Janes, however, he didn’t manage to make a move on Janes despite his best efforts. Terry thus finished the race in a very respectable 10th position overall – 3rd place on the Grammer Truck Cup podium.
It took us some time to get the truck and the panels back into racing condition, but the team worked well together and after a late night, we were ready for day 2.
The second day was an interesting day for Terry and the T Sport Racing team. The weather was very unpredictable with heavy rain showers passing over the circuit making track conditions very tricky for truck racing. When Terry took to the track for qualifying, a lot of the teams struggled with their set up for the weather conditions – T Sport Racing included. Terry pushed as hard as he felt he could, but ultimately ended up on 14th position on the starting grid for race 3.
The first race of the day came around and Terry got off to a good start. However, on the first lap his fellow driver Luis Recuenco spun out in front of him. As much as Terry tried, contact could not be avoided. Terry collided with Recuenco’s truck. Once he managed to get back on track, he was at the back of the pack again. Due to the damage to the front of his race truck – including a smashed windscreen – he was unable to move back up the field.
Between the 2 races, the team worked hard to repair the front of the truck in time for the second race – replacing most of the front panels and, of course, the broken windscreen.
The second race started better, with the track conditions a little better than earlier in the day. Terry started 16th – the outcome of the first race. Staying out of trouble and racing hard, Terry managed to climb up the order and crossed the chequered flag in a very respectable 12th place, i.e. 5th place in the Grammer Truck Cup.
The team are now busy servicing the truck and packing everything away before the entire paddock moves straight down to Jarama circuit near Madrid in Spain for the final weekend of the 2019 European Truck Racing Championship in only 5 days time.