T Sport Bernau pulls the covers off its new race truck and wishes for an easing of the COVID-19 restrictions
07. June 2020Like many teams on this season’s entry list, T Sport Bernau has been hit very hard by the travel restrictions that obtain as a result of COVID-19.
The new Anglo-Bavarian outfit, the coming together of T Sport Racing and Truck Sport Bernau, started off promisingly enough, marrying the energy of youth with a lifetime of experience – the longest in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship. Add Spaniard Antonio Albacete into the mix and you’ve got the longest-running partnership in the paddock with five driver’s titles combined.
Bernau, looked up to as the elder statesman of truck racing, has in recent seasons appeared to withdraw himself gradually from day-to-day operations. Earlier this year, he decided to join forces with three-year-old T Sport Racing.
Belying its youth, the British team has a decade of wide-ranging experience in truck racing. Austrian Melanie Derflinger had her first encounter with the business as a schoolgirl, and subsequently worked for different teams in a diversity of management roles. Her partner Tim Frost wasn’t much older when he first joined Truck Racing as a mechanic, going on to grow as a technician with a handful of enormously successful teams. In 2017 he and Melanie together decided to set up their own.
In the last three years they’ve raced their MAN, budget permitting, with Terry Gibbon (GBR) in the ETRC.
The collaboration with Truck Sport Bernau and thrice-champ Albacete marked the beginning of a new chapter – but then the coronavirus struck. While the German branch of the team has almost no restrictions on its freedom of movement, neither the truck itself, nor the technical team, can move from the workshop in Burscough, Lancashire. Antonio Albacete in Spain is even more circumscribed.
It’s most likely the team won’t make it to the joint test week in the Czech Republic. But Melanie indicated to us that they will test with Antonio before the first race in Most scheduled for the last weekend of August.