Showing maturity and confidence beyond her years, youngster Tarhlea Apelt has experienced a competitive transition into senior Formula 500 competition so far this season, with her development in the Junior Formula 500 class certainly paying off.
Graduating to senior competition upon turning 16 earlier this year, Apelt has been working hard throughout her past eight race meetings to adapt her driving style and adjust to having more speed aboard her Qld # 97 Apelt Floors & Coatings supported car now that her restrictor plate has been removed.
This determination to improve is certainly being reflected in Apelt’s results, having finished just one spot shy of the podium in her previous two outings, which incorporated rounds of the NuPave Asphalt Series. However, it was last Saturday night’s performance that rewarded her with her best performance yet.
Contesting the seventh NuPave Asphalt Series round at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway, Apelt impressively managed to bridge the gap towards third place, this time finishing just under 0.6 of a second behind third place.
“Getting longer feature races in comparison to a short amount of laps in junior competition is definitely something I’ve had to get used to because I need to concentrate for longer, but it’s definitely getting easier with each race meeting,” commented Apelt, who has gained some valuable advice from her more experienced counterparts, including, current Australian champion Liam Williams, Ryan Skennar and Kristin Brown.
“I’m moving closer to a podium finish, so that’s something I’m hoping to be able to achieve soon, as well as staying inside the top five in the NuPave Asphalt Series points. The advice from other drivers has been really helpful, so I have to say a big thanks to them, along with my family, team and sponsors.”
By virtue of this consistency, Apelt is currently sitting fourth in the NuPave Asphalt Series point standings.
Throughout the 2018-19 season, apart from concentrating on the NuPave Asphalt Series, Apelt plans to contest the Queensland Title at Maryborough Speedway on May 4 and 5, as well as travelling to Goulburn Speedway in NSW for the Australian Title on April 18, 19 and 20. Taking a break now over Christmas, her next appearance will be on New Year’s Day (January 1) at Archerfield Speedway.
Apelt would like to thank the following sponsors for their valued support throughout the 2018-19 season: Apelt Floors & Coatings, Toowoomba Car Wreckers, The 2 Pak Studio – Toowoomba, Downs Tinting & Signs, Tony Cochrane for his engines, and Snap Fitness – Highfields. Special thanks go to her mum and dad (Leigh and Greg), her younger sister Amity and her grandad Darryl, along with Dave and Nicholas 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.