Last weekend, on the 16th and 17th of June, T Sport Racing went all the way to Hungary to compete in the second round of this year´s FIA European Truck Racing Championship. The team was well prepared for the race weekend at Hungaroring near Budapest, but was also really looking forward to travel there – a real adventure crossing 5 countries in three days!
It was Monday morning, when the team left the workshop to take truck and trailer onto a ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge. The next day we crossed Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. On Wednesday, the team finally arrived at the circuit after passing Austria.
On Thursday, it was time for the team to set up in the paddock. It was the first time that we built up our garage area and next to it, a small hospitality area for our guests from PE Automotive, TT Parts and Lang. We were really pleased with the setup. Throughout the weekend, we got extremely nice feedback from the organisers, the other competitors and the guests regarding our professional looking presentation in the paddock!
On Friday afternoon, Terry got his first chance to explore Hungaroring – a new track for him. We knew it would take him some time to get used to it since it is a very technical circuit. Considering the fact that we are running with a less powerful engine compared to most of the field, we were quite happy with the lap times achieved – even thought we were posting lap times towards the back of the field.
On Saturday morning, our team’s first guests arrived which joined us in the pits for our first FIA ETRC qualifying session this year. To post a good lap time within 10 minutes was a challenge; as the circuit is quite long, there were only 2 fast laps possible.
We started into the first race from 16th position. It didn´t go as expected, but we definitely got the attention of the TV crew broadcasting live on TV. When the mechanics were closing the doors of the cabin on the pre-grid, the passenger door didn´t close, the locking mechanism broke. The fastest solution was the “good old race tape”. Unfortunately the tape didn´t last long. Terry managed to overtake 4 trucks at the start, but shortly after the door opened and forced Terry to come back into the pits to get the door lock fixed. We continued to race but lost our position.
Race 2 was more successful. Terry, Luis Recuenco and Erwin Kleinnagelvoort were fighting for the positions. It was great to watch since only Kleinnagelvoort uses the same engine as we do. So there was quite some real racing action. Terry managed to cross the finish line on 12th position overall, but we achieved a 3rd position at the Promoter’s Cup, the first podium for T Sport Racing in 2018!
On Sunday, things went even better. Terry showed he is able to improve very quickly. At the warm-up, he posted a lap time that was over 2 seconds faster than the lap times achieved the day before. Due to the 10 minutes restriction, he could only put in one fast lap at the qualifying. It wasn´t fast enough for the top 10, but the subsequent third race of the weekend was a very successful one anyway.
Due to a very good start, Terry managed to move up quite a few positions. For the complete team and the guests, it was very exciting to see how he was fighting to keep his position during the 11-lap race. Excitement rose from lap to lap and we were all really pleased when we saw our PE race truck crossing the finish line on 10th place thus securing second place at the Promoter’s Cup.
At the final race of the weekend, we finished on 11th place overall but also were on the Promoter’s Cup podium for the third time.
All in all, it was a very successful weekend for T Sport Racing. We are a young team that has to learn and evolve, but we are very passionate about what we do and we are fighting hard to keep up with the “Big Boys”.
Tomorrow, we will be travelling to Wuppertal in Germany. There we will service our race truck and participate at an event and birthday celebration for Terry at the PE Automotive headquarters next Friday. The week after, from the 29th of June to the 1st of July, we will be racing at the famous Nürburgring! Stay tuned – we will keep you informed!