Brake issue ends TR-Motorsports championship challenge

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Thomas Raldorf of Denmark drives the TR-Motorsports Porsche 911 at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Sunday, Oct. 28. (Photo/Thailand Super Series)
Thomas Raldorf of Denmark drives the TR-Motorsports Porsche 911 at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Sunday, Oct. 28. (Photo/Thailand Super Series)

After a positive result in Race 1 at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram last weekend, The Pattaya based TR-Motorsports team were confident of mounting a serious challenge for the Thailand Super Series title in Sunday’s season finale.

Lead driver Thomas Raldorf of Denmark took control of the Porsche 911 for stint one and got off to the perfect start, overtaking 4 cars on the opening lap of the one hour race. With championship leader Alif Hamdan going well further up the field, Raldorf maintained his charge and quickly closed down Will Bamber in the B-Quik Racing Porsche. Both drivers jostled for position for several laps until the flying Dane found an opening and swept past the young Kiwi and hastened his pursuit of another B-Quik Porsche a few seconds ahead.

Shortly after the pit window opened the B-Quik Racing team brought four of their cars in for the driver changeover. Raldorf stayed out for the next few laps then pitted with the car in a great position for the second stint.

The TR-Motorsport pit crew did an outstanding job with a smooth driver transition and tire change and as New Zealand’s Shaun Varney raced down the pit lane all seemed well, however, Varney radioed back to the pits that there was an issue with the gears.

The Kiwi didn’t hesitate and drew on his experience and knowledge of the German sports car by pulling over on the back straight, shutting the car down and initiating a full restart that thankfully reset the gears, although this now placed him at the back of the field with a mountain to climb.

A safety car period helped the team’s cause as Varney quickly caught up but then with just 3 minutes to go the right front brake caliper failed at turn 12, sending the Porsche into the gravel trap and just like that the season was over.

Even though the team failed to finish the race they did finish in 2nd place for the overall driver’s championship behind Alif Hamdan, who showed great consistency throughout the season.