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This past weekend (11-13 April) saw Tjaden Tromp and Chloe Stuart deliver a formidable performance in the second round of the 2024 DOE Formula Vee Partnered with CIM Lubricants championship, despite waiting until Saturday for the first completed race.

The event, a double-header Extreme Festival featuring all National and Regional categories, commenced on Thursday with one practice session per category. Friday would be a busy day for the team, with Formula Vee being one of two categories to race on the second day.

However, after a solid performance from both drivers in the morning’s practice session, before securing 14th and 18th on the grid for Tjaden Tromp and Chloe Stuart, respectively, their hopes to record a pair of solid results were delayed.

After both made a good start, the race was soon red-flagged due to an incident elsewhere in the pack. The restart also had to be aborted, and with time running out, the Formula Vee competitors were sent back to the pits.

Two alternatives were on the cards. A shortened first race at the end of Friday or a 12-lap double points race on Saturday. The former of these options was subject to the prevailing ambient light, but further delays in qualifying sessions of the final categories resulted in the second option being the only viable one.

Saturday afternoon, Tromp made his maiden start in the series, becoming the youngest driver. A level-headed drive saw him cross the line in 15th place after early jostles for 14th place with Mile Stewart.

For Stuart, who looked strong leading into the race, her chances were marred by mechanical maladies. A mounting failed early in the race, which resulted in her having to pit. However, after determining that there was no risk of injury or excessive damage, she was sent out again to utilise the available track time. While she did cross the line in 22nd place, she did not complete the minimum distance to earn a classified result.

“It was a good debut despite the delays we faced.” Said Tromp. “While it was frustrating to wait for that first race at the iconic circuit to be ticked off, finally, it was certainly worth the wait. There was a lot that went into making the weekend possible. We have found key areas to work on, and finding an extra 4.7 seconds per hot lap certainly shows that we are moving in the right direction. We look forward to being even more competitive in the next round.”

“We persevered regardless of the challenges we faced.” Said Stuart. “You can look at ‘what ifs’ regarding broken parts, aborted races, and a full day at our disposal to fix it, or you can look back on the remarkable progress made. We choose the latter. It was our first time at Kyalami (Grand Prix Circuit). We had a few niggles throughout but never gave up. It paid off as we improved our one-lap pace substantially, and more dividends will be paid out when the line up for Round 3.”

The next DOE Formula Vee Partnered with CIM Lubricants outing for TC Racing will be around the clockwise layout of Red Star Raceway on 10-11 May, a circuit where both drivers tasted success when competing in Formula M.

Issued by Brandsponential on behalf of TC Racing

Photography by: James Thomson

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