Tarhlea Apelt’s career in Junior Formula 500s has come to an end recently, with the teenager set to step into the senior ranks for the remaining 2017-18 season race meetings.
Apelt has had a busy season in the Junior Formula 500 class, which continues to grow within the state of Queensland, competing predominantly at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway but also taking in race meetings at Rockhampton’s Rocky Speedway, Maryborough Speedway and Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway.
Spending the last two years in the Junior Formula 500s has seen Apelt develop her skills as a driver and finds herself regularly in contention when it comes to results. This is certainly a pleasing aspect of her time in the Junior Formula 500s class.
Modifications to her current car to get up to the specifications of the open Formula 500 class is simple with the restrictor place, which sits underneath the carburettor being removed. This simple process has been one of the positive aspects for teams progressing up to the open class.
With the focus now on the regular Formula 500 class, Apelt and the team plan on taking in as much racing as possible with her first meeting amongst the seniors scheduled for the Saturday night of May 19 at Gatton’s Lockyer Valley Speedway while the first race meeting at her home track of Archerfield Speedway will be the final KRE Formula 500 Championship Series round on the Saturday night of May 26.
It was hoped that Apelt, who turns 16 on the day of this Sunday night’s Queensland Formula 500 Title at Moranbah Speedway, would be eligible to race; however, the necessary paperwork and licencing wouldn’t be completed in time, leaving Apelt to wait a little longer before her debut.
Once the season concludes, plans are to build a new car in readiness for the 2018-19 season and to take in as much racing as possible with travelling also pencilled numerous weekends throughout the season. In the meantime, she will also travel up north to events at Mac’s Speedway (Mackay) to compete in some low-key events to allow her to get the feel of the car without the restrictor plate.
“It has been a great learning curve and I believe there is no better way for a junior to learn than through the Junior Formula 500 class,” said the Toowoomba-based racer, who won her first race in the Junior Formula 500 class in late 2016.
“The fact I get to travel up north to Mackay for a number of race meetings in my car that I am used to is something that will really help my confidence. I can’t wait.”
Moving forward she is hoping for a competitive start in the senior ranks and building on her experience in the Junior Formula 500 class and turning that into success into the future.
Apelt would also like to thank the following sponsors for their valued support throughout the 2017-18 season: Apelt Floors, Toowoomba Car Wreckers, Jak Industries, Baldys Kitchens, GW Racing, Colour Stop, and The 2 Pak Studio - Toowoomba. Special thanks go to her mum and dad (Leigh and Greg), her younger sister Amity and her grandad Darryl, along with Dave Whell, R&M Rudd and Brad Gosney.
To find out more about Apelt and her team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Apelt Floors Motorsport.Photo credit: 44 Photography