School mates go to battle on speedway

Tamara Silvester (Toowoomba Sports Photography)

Toowoomba school mates Tarhlea Apelt and Nic Whell may be great friends at school, but that may all change this Saturday when their helmets go on at Hi-Tec Oils Speedway.

Apelt and Whell will go to battle in the Formula 500 Development Series and according to Nic, they both share equal wins over the years.

“Sometimes I get embarrassed being beaten by her, but she’s a year older so I guess that makes a difference,” he conceded.

“Tarhlea’s a good driver and a great friend, so in some ways I’m happy for her if she goes well. If she keeps doing what she’s doing, I think she could make a career of racing.”

But when asked if there was ever in romantic feelings that may become a distraction during a race, Nic answers emphatically “absolutely not!”

A quick chat with Tarhlea instantly reveals how focussed she is for a 15 year-old, and that Nic’s forecast that she could make a career of racing may not be too far off the mark.

“I’ve definitely beaten Nic more than he’s beaten me so I’m not sure what he’s on about. But I love hanging out at school with him and he’s been a great friend to me. But when I put the helmet on, that all goes out the window! I’m really competitive and determined to win so no friendship is going to get in the way of that!” she said, perhaps not really meaning it.

You can view the Tarhlea versus Nic Battle this weekend at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway

Tickets are now available at for the September 23 event, with action from 6pm. For more details check out and the Hi-Tec Oils Speedway Facebook page for daily updates.

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