The Apollo Tyres-liveried TOR Truck Racing MAN known as ‘Thelma’ made its final 2019 track appearance over 28/29 September at the world-famous Le Mans Circuit, securing an eighth place finish in Race One, with the distinctive purple truck leading the competitors away in Race Two from pole position.

In the penultimate rounds of the European Truck Racing Championship, whilst pulling out a healthy lead, the Apollo Truck was halted in its tracks when the race was red-flagged to remove debris from a racing incident. At the restart, Shane Brereton placed the truck ahead of Jose Rodrigues, only to be nudged down to fifth place before converting that to a fourth finish in a titanic battle with the Championship contenders Antonio Albacete and Jochen Hahn.

Race Three was equally eventful for the British-based team; starting in 13th place for their first race in wet conditions, Brereton moved the Apollo Truck up through the field only to suffer a brake disc failure in the closing laps that resulted in a 10th placed finish.

The final race of the weekend saw the Apollo Truck again in competitive action but a drive through penalty for exceeding track limits, among others, meant that the team completed their racing weekend in 14th place, as Shane Brereton secured 10 points in the FIA European Truck Racing Drivers’ Championship.

Team driver Shane Brereton, reflecting on the experience of driving the Apollo Tyres-liveried truck, said: “It was an exciting weekend and we showed to be competitive whilst learning much about the capabilities of the race truck; obviously, 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, but 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 with some great television footage for our team partners”.

“The team welcomed guests of Apollo Tyres in France and provided them with an entertaining weekend of truck racing. Certainly the feedback we received from them was complimentary and all enjoyed interaction with the team and the opportunity for photographs with Thelma.”

Brereton added, “It was interesting to race in wet conditions for the first time, we tried several set ups and probably need to refine our final settings in the future, as the brake disc failure towards the end of the race saw us give up two positions on the final lap, but that is racing. As for the final race, let’s just say we had some fun, but 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, which created a jovial moment for the rest of the team”.

Steve Miller, UK TBR Sales Manager remarked, “The Le Mans event saw a record attendance of almost 60,000 people which, given the changeable weather conditions, was a remarkable turn out. Apollo Tyres continued to enhance its brand image and we welcomed visitors from all over Europe, who were keen to discuss our TBR product range, joining our Apollo Tyres France guests who enjoyed being an integral part of the team for this event. We received a number of interesting enquiries for our product range which we will follow up over the course of the next few weeks as we look further to establish the Apollo Tyres brand in Europe. Overall, a very successful weekend both on and off track.”

The Bugatti Circuit welcomed the FIA European Truck Racing Championship and the National French Truck Racing Championship for a full program of racing and off-track entertainment, with Jochen Hahn securing the European Truck Racing Championship title for a record sixth time when he finished in sixth place in Race Two, two places behind the Apollo Truck.

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