Theeba Motorsport in class podium contention before floor damage spells retirement

Theeba Motorsport in class podium contention before floor damage spells retirement

June 3, 2023
GT World Challenge Europe

Throughout Friday practice the team’s drivers Reema Juffali, Ralf Aron and Alain Valente were growing in confidence in the set up direction in readiness for qualifying.

Saturday morning qualifying set the grid positions for the 1000km endurance race in the evening. With Alain behind the wheel for the Q1 session, Reema in for Q2 and Ralf for Q3, their combined effort qualified the car to 27th overall out of 57 cars, and fifth in the Bronze cup class.

The race got underway at 18:00 CEST in bright sunshine with Reema behind the wheel of the Theeba Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 car. As the 57 strong field battled for position, Reema was engaged in a fierce midfield battle.  Showing  sheer commitment Reema was to stay in the car at the first pitstop as she continued to show strong pace throughout her two hour 56 lap stint.

Alain was next up re-joining the race 9th in class. Alain’s first stint proved to be strong and gained ground on the cars in front battling his way to 5th in Class at his first stop. As dusk fell Alain gained further ground showing podium pace and pitted to hand over to Ralf around the 4 hour mark 4th in Class.

Ralf started his very first night race experience but soon reported vibrations that developed forcing him to make an unscheduled stop. The team discovered splitter and floor damage that was beyond repair in the time remaining, forcing the team to retire the car.

Reema Juffali, Founder & Driver, Theeba Motorsport
“I was first behind the wheel and had an enjoyable double stint to begin the race. Unfortunately, after managing to work our way up to P5, we had a mechanical failure with around an hour and a half left to go and had to retire the car. It’s not a great feeling, but this is sometimes the reality of racing. We’ll work hard to come back with the same momentum that we had at the beginning of the race at the next round in Spa.”

Ralf Aron, Driver, Theeba Motorsport
“Reema did an amazing double stint at the start before Alain jumped in and climbed up the order to P5 during his double stint. Unfortunately, we then had a technical issue around 10 laps into my stint and had to retire the car. It’s a difficult one to swallow, as the team had made big improvements compared to where we were in Monza. We were looking good for a strong finish here, so we’ll take a step back, grow from the disappointment and take the positives forward to Spa.”

Alain Valente, Driver, Theeba Motorsport
“Reema had a strong opening stint and my first stint also felt good, so I think we could have achieved a decent result for the team if it weren’t for the technical issues. A DNF is always frustrating, but our pace was the strongest we’ve seen so far this season, so we're looking forward to the Spa 24 Hours and aiming to come back stronger there.”

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