Female Trophy battle still alive after the penultime F4 Spanish Championship round
Belen Garcia took home two female championship trophy podiums from the Portimao round, while Nerea Marti responded with a lady's victory in Race 2. Irina Sidorkova added some points to her championship standings.
This past weekend the F4 Spanish Championship reached the penultime round of the season at Autodromo do Algarve, Portimao.
Argentinian Franco Colapinto, undisputed championship standing leader, claimed more victories in the two Saturday's races, while he ended fourth in Race 3 after a notable comeback from the back of the group, with Dutch MP Motorsport Racing driver Glenn Van Berlo was victorious after a stunning start on Sunday.
Belen Garcia entered the Portimao rounds with her best qualifying of the season, taking the start from the seventh grid place for all the three weekend races. The young Spanish GRS Team lady came very close to the big target in Race 1, when after making herself protagonist of a good start, she took advantage from a incident between Axel Gnos, Kilian Meyer and Glenn Van Berlo early on. She moved up to P2, only behind the leader Franco Colapinto.
Garcia well managed her excellent race in second until two laps to the checkered flag, when a mechanical issue forced her to finish eighth a race where she deserved a spot in the overall podium. It was nonetheless enough to take victory in the Race 1 female championship trophy ahead of Nerea Marti and Irina Sidorkova.
Misfortune hit again the Spanish driver on the second race start, when a contact with another competitor meant that she had to pit and rejoin the race one lap behind the rest of the field.
"Today wasn't our day... Despite the problems, we managed to do some good starts and kept good pace in race 2. More to come tomorow " wrote Belen Garcia on her social media feeds after the Saturday's races.
In a relatively uneventful Race 3 for the Spanish series fans, Belen crossed the finish line in tenth, but a series of five seconds penalties inflicted to Rafael Villanueva and Carles Martinez advanced her to the eighth final place, adding some more good points to her positive 2019 season and another podium in the female trophy.
"I could have senteced the Female Trophy rankings in this weekend, I had a good pace but had too many issues to get more points" - said Belen after the race.
The other Spanish lady driver Nerea Marti, concluded the penultime seasonal round with points in all the three races, and kept her chance for the Female Trophy final victory still alive thanks to a solid seventh place finish in Race 2, where she got to stand on the podium as best lady driver. Marti ended the opening weekend's race in ninth, making herself protagonist of some very combactive battles after the good getaway at the start, but showed her best defensive skills on the second race, when after another great start, she brought home a seventh place under the chequered flag.
The Formula De Campeones young driver added another point to her standings concluding the Sunday's final race in tenth. The youngest of the three ladies drivers, Irina Sidorkova, started from the last grid spot but conquered points in both the Saturday's race with a P9 in Race 1 and P10 in Race 2.
"Saturday with no speed but with points" - joked the Russian lady after the first two races.
The SMP racing driver finished Race 3 with a 5 seconds penalty but showed a very positive pace for all the race duration.
"Unfortunately there is not a Race 4... I've found the speed! That is the problem with coming to a new track. You find it but it is late. Finished the last race P11 & P5 by lap time feeling I can do much better but the weekend is over." - said Irina after the final race.
Barcelona will host the F4 Spanish Championship season finale during the second November's weekend, where the battle between the 2020 new W-Series drivers will decide the 2019 Spanish F4 Female Trophy winner.
Additionally, Belen Garcia will compete at the Italian venue of Vallelunga, representing Team Spain at the upcoming FIA Motorsport Games from 1st to 3rd November, in the F4 category. In Belen's words:
"I could have senteced the Female Trophy rankings in this weekend, I had a good pace but had too many issues to get more points"