F4 Spain: Emely de Heus wins 2021 female trophy
Emely De Heus and Lola Lovinfosse shared the Female Trophy victories on Sunday in Barcelona – but it was the young Dutchwoman to ultimately finish ahead in the class standings, succeeding 2019 winner Bélen Garcia.
The 2021 Spanish F4 season came to an end in Barcelona, with two more spectacular races on Sunday – which resulted in two first-time wins.
On Saturday, Emely De Heus (MP Motorsport) recovered from 25th on the grid to P20, having overcome a grid drop penalty from the previous weekend and a tyre issue during the Safety Car restart that made her race even more challenging.
Young Frenchwoman Lola Lovinfosse (Drivex) had battled all weekend with engine issues and her first race unfortunately came to an early end in the run-off of Turn 10.
The final day, though, was looking promising during Q2 in the morning: Lola Lovinfosse had a strong start of the session and ran within the Top-10 throughout. She couldn’t improve on the final two attempts and ultimately slipped down the order.
The starting order of Race 2 was shaped by the second fastest lap of Saturday’s qualifying – where Lovinfosse was hampered by technical difficulties – which meant that she had to start from the back of the field. Emely De Heus, on the other hand, was P18 and hoped to further climb the order having shown good pace in practice.
MP Motorsport’s Rik Koen shared the front row with Noah Abramczyck (Drivex), while Filip Jenic and Miron Pingasov lined up behind them.
The run towards Turn 1 saw Jenic taking over the lead from Koen: after a great wheel to wheel battle, the Teo Martin Motorsport’s driver settled in the lead, while behind a constant stream of position changes shuffled the order in the first chaotic stages. Dimitrov and Garcia went off and, in a series of contacts, Manuel Espirito Santo was spun off at the final chicane on the first lap – triggering a Safety Car.
At the neutralization, Emely De Heus was running in 19th place, while Lola Lovinfosse had a good getaway and managed to gain four places and move up to P22.
The recovery procedures meant that the race resumed with 6 minutes left on the clock. Noah Degnbol caught Koen off guard and passed his teammate for second place – as Abramczyck also joined the battle for the podium positions.
On lap 6, Lola Lovinfosse made up a position to P21, while De Heus – initially down to P20 after the restart – got ahead of Ryabov on lap 8.
After the first hectic laps, the race got heated again in the final minutes: Abramczyck attacked Koen, but the Dutchman held on. One lap later, Koen closed in again on Degnbol and made a great move stick at Turn 10 to take second place.
Filip Jenic claimed his first win in F4 with a controlled run, preceding Rik Koen by almost 2 seconds across the line. Degnbol took third, ahead of Abramczyck and Lee Oxley.
Lola Lovinfosse had a good race from the back of the grid and gained six places to finish P20.
Similarly, Emely De Heus kept it clean and climbed the order up to 16th – thus securing her second female trophy victory of the weekend.
At the end of the racing distance, 25 cars finished within 20 seconds of the leader.
Having scored pole position on Sunday morning, Pepe Marti lined up on the front row together with Campos Racing teammate Sebastian Ogaard, while MP Motorsport locked in the second row with Noah Degnbol and Manuel Espirito Santo. Lola Lovinfosse’s Q2 gained her P23 on the grid, two places ahead of Emely De Heus.
Lovinfosse had a good start and could move up to P20, before settling in P22.
De Heus initially dropped down the order, but was then able to recover and followed Lovinfosse closely.
At the front, Ogaard led Marti in a Campos 1-2 and Maksim Arkhangelskii brought himself up to fourth, before the Safety Car halted the action once again on the second lap following the retirement of Jorge Campos and Alejandro Garcia.
The green flag was waved on lap 6: Marti tried to attack Ogaard at Turn 1, but the Spaniard went deep and had to take the escape road, dropping to seventh and opening the door to Degnbol and Arkhangelskii.
De Heus battled with Espirito Santo at the restart – the latter having stalled on the grid.
Series champion Dilano Van’t Hoff pitted and retired after sustaining damages in the first lap contacts.
Lola Lovinfosse continued to battle around 20th and 19th position: she gained positions on Dimitrov, Pingasov and MOlina, but the latter could respond back in the closing stages.
After 14 laps, Sebastian Ogaard took his first win of the season and preceded compatriot Noah Degnbol and Maksim Arkhangelskii. With the victory, the Danish racer gained the runner-up spot in the championship.
After the mistake at the restart, Pepe Marti was able to recover up to fourth, finishing in front of Ryabov, Zanfari, Oliveira and Race 2 winner Jenic.
Lola Lovinfosse was 20th across the finish line and took the female trophy win – but it wasn’t enough to claim the female classification: with 384 points, in fact, Emely De Heus succeeded Belén Garcia (2019) as the class winner.
With a 13th place at Portimao, 15-year old Lovinfosse ends her first season in single-seaters in 27th position – two places ahead of De Heus, who scored a best result of 14th at Valencia. Both drivers scored one point in the Rookie standings.
Both drivers had solid formula debuts in one of the most competitive feeder series in Europe and, with a sophomore campaign in F4, they are likely to keep showing progress and climbing the rankings.