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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Continued progress for Marta García in Formula Regional European Championship

Iron Dame Marta García had a positive weekend at the Hungaroring in the Formula Regional European Championship, securing her second top-20 finish in race one and demonstrating strong speed in both dry and wet weather.

Marta García, Iron Dames, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, Hungaroring 2024
Photo credits: Dutch Photo Agency

Iron Dames racer Marta García continued her debut season in the Formula Regional European Championship with a positive weekend at the Hungaroring. García showed good speed in both wet and dry conditions, securing her second top-20 finish of the season in race one. A spirited comeback drive in race two was ended by contact with Marta initially making some nice moves through the field.

Marta’s debut season in the Formula Regional European Championship has been full of encouragement after the first three rounds of the season. The Iron Dames driver has displayed excellent race pace, particularly at Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort, with a 15th place finish in Belgium remaining her best result to date.

Battling challenging conditions in the Netherlands, García was able to take significant steps forward in both races and was unfortunate that lengthy safety car interruptions halted her progress. Now arriving at the Hungaroring, Marta was looking to draw upon her experiences of racing at the circuit in F1 Academy to move her way up the order.

The event began with two test sessions on Thursday for the Iron Dames racer to get up to speed and build up her confidence at the challenge circuit. Her fastest lap of a 1:41.773 placed Marta 25th, with García inside the top-25 in both of the opening sessions. Improving by a further tenth of a second in the first session on Friday, García was classified in 29th, before taking another step to end the day in 22nd position.

The first qualifying session of the weekend took place on Saturday morning and featured contrasting conditions to the extremely hot running in testing. Overnight rain, coupled with a further heavy downpour led to Group A qualifying being red flagged in the initial stages.

After a delay, conditions improved with García getting to grips with the treacherous conditions. As the drivers gained confidence with each lap, times improved in the closing stages with Marta setting the 13th quickest lap in Group A.

Track conditions were fully dry for race one of the weekend and Marta was aiming to make progress from 26th on the grid. It was an excellent start for the Iron Dames racer who gained three positions on the opening lap to move into 23rd. After falling behind Giovanni Maschio, García’s attention turned forward as French driver Romain Andriolo was now ahead.

On lap seven, Marta’s speed was evident as she was the fastest driver in the entire field through sector one and this allowed her to close in on the pair ahead.

The nature of the Hungaroring meant that overtaking was challenging and although Andriolo and García appeared faster than Maschio, they were unable to move ahead.

On lap 11, Noah Stromsted brought his RPM machine into the pits and this moved the Iron Dames driver up to 23rd as Edgar Pierre now began to close in. A personal best time on lap 14 saw Marta extend the gap to Pierre to over a second, once again allowing her to plot her next move forward.

In the closing stages of the race, Matteo De Palo was spun at turn two and this elevated García to 22nd, a position which she held until the checkered flag. Her position was improved further following the disqualification of two competitors ahead, with Marta classified in 20th position.

Marta García, Iron Dames, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, Hungaroring 2024
Photo credits: Dutch Photo Agency

Qualifying two of the weekend was held in much better conditions than the first session on Saturday, with Marta looking to build upon her strong race pace from the previous day. Once again showing excellent speed in sector one, García was consistently challenging her more experienced Formula Regional European Series rivals. The Iron Dame ended the session 11th in Group A, just eight tenths of a second away from pacesetter Rafael Camara.

Marta began race two from 22nd on the grid and did well to negotiate an incident ahead of her through the opening turns. Unfortunately this dropped García to 27th, but she was able to keep it clean and regroup behind newcomer Isaac Barashi. Overtaking continued to be challenging at the Hungaroring but the Iron Dame made a smart move on lap five to take 26th position from the MP Motorsport racer.

Two laps later, García overtook Ukrainian driver Yaroslav Veselaho and she was now back inside the top-25, with Lena Bühler her next target. Bühler was defending well and this enabled Nicola Lacorte to close in on García.

On lap ten, Lacorte crashed into the side of García into turn two which saw both drivers impact the barrier and retire from the race. It was an unfortunate end to the race with Marta making good progress back through the field.

"We made good improvements and a step forward in terms of driving and getting adapted", Marta commented. "With 8 tenths off the Pole lap. So I take this positive."

Despite the tough end to the weekend, it was a positive trip to the Hungaroring for Marta who showed improved speed at a challenging circuit. Closing the gap to her rivals in qualifying, García will be aiming to carry forward this into the next rounds of the Formula Regional European Championship.

The next event will take place at Mugello on the weekend of 13th/14th July.



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