F4 Spain: Lena Bühler recovers to P13 in Le Castellet race 2
Updated: Aug 24
Swiss racer Lena Bühler managed to gain a couple of positions in the Spanish F4 second race at Le Castellet, after her unfortunate crash on Saturday.
Swiss Drivex driver Lena Bühler was among the fastest drivers during Friday practice and clinched 10th place in the first qualifying that put her into the midst of the battles for race 1 on the French circuit of Paul Ricard.
The young lady again showed great pace in the opening stages of the race, as she made her way up the order after a lengthy Safety Car phase. As she tried to pass a slower and hard-defending car in front, the two made contact and Lena was sent airborne. The big crash left the #15 Drivex Tatuus heavily damaged, but Bühler was fortunately unscathed.
Accidents like this, though, can certainly influence the remainder of the race weekend - with cars going back on track for the 15-minute qualifying session without further practice to check for potential issues.
Bühler was 16th on the grid for the second race, with Filip Ugran leading again the pack from pole-position. The Jenzer driver had a very slow start off the line, with Mari Boya temporarily taking the lead. The Romanian, dominator of the first heat on Saturday, was back ahead with a confident move at Turn 3 and never looked back. After the first lap, Ugran led Boya, Goethe, Fluxa and Havekort.
The only female driver in this year's F4 Spain grid got stuck in the first corners' hectic action and dropped to P18. She then found a way past Mehrbod Shameli in the only XCel Motorsport car. Nosov also was on the move and battled for eighth, with Joshua Dufek going wide at the chicane and then off after jumping hard on the kerbs. The MP Motorsport's car of Dufek dropped to tenth, losing two places in the process.
The Safety Car was back in action in the Spanish F4 this weekend following an accident between Sagrera and Zanfari - the former spinning and collecting the GRS driver. Haverkort, running in fifth, was also involved in the incident and dropped all the way back to the tail-end of the field.
Bühler could thus gain a few positions and advance into P14. The race, though, restarted after just one lap behind the pace car on lap 5.
Ugran, who had already started to open up a gap on his followers, had to do it all again. Despite a very chaotic restart, positions at the front remained mainly unchanged until Goethe could take second place at the chicane after a successful move under braking over Boya. His runner-up spot, though, was short-lived as he went off track and dropped to seventh.
Bühler gained one more position and overtook Enzo Joullie, but the Frenchman switched back.
The crowded F4 Spain grid provided more action in the midfield, but when the chequered flag fell, former Italian F4 racer Filip Ugran crossed the line to take his second win of the weekend, over two seconds ahead of Boya in the first MP Motorsport car.
In the final lap, a stunning battle for third gave Lorenzo Fluxa the third step of the podium over Jasin Ferati and Joshua Dufek.
Lena Bühler crossed the finish line in P14. She will start the third and final race of the weekend in 19th place following a tough second qualifying session - contested in the early morning on Sunday - hampered by the wind on a green track.
Race 3 will go green at 18:20 CEST, as the talented Lena Bühler will try to move up the order to complete an unfortunate French weekend on a positive note.
UPDATE: Following the post-race penalty of Lorenzo Fluxa, Francesco Simonazzi takes third place and Lena Bühler is promoted to P13.