On 6th and 7th of October, the final of this year’s FIA European Truck Racing Championship was held at the famous Circuito del Jarama, on the outskirts of Madrid. A number of reasons made it one of the most exciting and anticipated truck racing events of the year. Firstly, in typical Spanish fashion, spectators are extremely enthusiastic and passionate about this sport. Secondly, the weather in Spain never ceases to disappoint and it is usually the last chance for most of us to soak in some sunshine before winter. Last but not least, the exhilarating races allow all teams and race drivers to score some last points for the 2018 FIA European Truck Racing Championship. All of this was topped off by a brilliant FIA ceremony applauding each team’s achievements throughout the year.
On Tuesday morning, our race team left the circuit in Le Mans and travelled directly to Jarama. The journey from France to Spain was steady and fairly relaxed with all of the teams participating at the championship driving in convoy with one another. You can surely imagine the attraction they were for other vehicles and pedestrians on the roads.
Once the set-up was finished on Thursday, the team spent most of Friday checking over some finer details and the race truck prior to the race weekend to make sure it was ready to race on Saturday morning. However, as there were no free practice sessions on Friday, the schedule for Saturday morning was extremely tight with two free practice sessions in the morning closely followed by the qualifying and the main events of the day, both of the races.
Being in top form, Terry really impressed us all on Saturday morning as he achieved some of his best lap times of the season. While he pushed himself and his truck to the limits aiming on achieving his goal of qualifying amongst the top 10, the entire team was thrilled when we got to know the results: Terry managed to secure 12th position overall for the first race at Jarama.
Terry had a brilliant start into the first race of the day. Unfortunately, however, there was a massive crash involving several trucks right at the first lap. Thankfully, none of the drivers were badly injured despite most of trucks involved sustaining severe damage to their cabs and chassis. Terry was lucky and got through jumping up to 9th position. Due to the amount of debris on the track, however, the race was restarted 45 minutes later. Luckily the T Sport truck was not heavily involved in the crash as Terry quickly dodged the carnage in front of him. Even though, the truck did sustain some damage on its rear wheel on the right hand side. Shortly after the restart, it quickly developed into a puncture. Later on, the team also realised that one of the brake cylinders failed – yet another result of the crash. All of this made it an extremely eventful start into the day.
As the previous race was extremely delayed, the team had to get the truck ready and back on track for the next race within just one hour. In addition and in true T Sport manner, some team members were even helping other competitors whose vehicles had sustained much worse damage, to get their trucks ready to race! Once the race truck was mended, the wheel was changed and – most importantly – the brakes were working, things looked really positive for Terry. He was motivated, confident and poised to do well. After the first few laps, he started overtaking one truck after another until he became a little too confident trying to overtake Ray Coleman. He spun off the track thus causing him to lose the places he gained at the first half of the race.
Sunday was a new day and the last day of racing for 2018 ETRC season. The qualifying was red flagged early, yet before Terry could even record a lap time as one of the trucks spun off the track at turn one. Once the session was resumed, there was only four and a half minutes left of qualifying. In this short time, Terry managed to record two flying laps with his fastest lap time being just over two minutes and placing him 15th on the grid alongside Jamie Anderson and behind Stefan Faas.
The first Sunday race got off to a good start as Terry managed to gain a few places! In one of the last corners of the first lap, however, he sustained some contact. And yet the incident was of little concern as Terry managed to settle into the race fighting for a place with Requenco and gaining confidence when he overtook him at the second lap. The T Sport team was really pleased as Terry maintained good lap times throughout the race. Eventually overtaking Jamie Anderson and Stefan Faas to win 3rd place in the class, he was standing on the podium with two other Brits: Oly Janes in 2nd and Shane Brereton in 1st. This was a great achievement for the team and hopefully a sign of things to come!
The final race of the season was upon us and it was anything but disappointing! Pressure was high and every driver gave 110%. The race started well with Terry holding his place for a number of laps and achieving some great lap times throughout the race. Staying closely behind Jamie Anderson and Stefan Faas, Terry had his eye on 3rd place in the Grammar cup. Fighting to overtake Faas until the very last corner, Terry finished 4th in his class. An incredible achievement for T Sport Racing!
The T Sport team had a fantastic season and achieved some incredible results. We are all incredibly pleased about the progress we made since the start of the 2018 championship. We could not have done this without the continued support of our marvellous partners, families, friends and fans.
We ask everyone to stay tuned, great things are to come in 2019!