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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Léna Bühler gains experience on first trip to the Hungaroring

Making her debut at the Hungaroring, Swiss racer Léna Bühler experienced a productive fourth round of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, showing promise in challenging conditions and a particularly impressive start in race 2.


Léna Bühler, ART Grand Prix, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, Hungaroring 2024
Photo credits: Dutch Photo Agency

Making her debut at the Hungaroring, Swiss racer Léna Bühler experienced a productive fourth round of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine. Managing challenging conditions throughout the event, the ART Grand Prix racer achieved a best finish of 26th in race two of the weekend.


An early retirement in race one meant Bühler entered the second race with little experience, however an excellent start laid the foundations for a solid result.


Arriving at the Hungaroring for the fourth round of the Formula Regional European Championship, Bühler was seeking a season’s best result after a consistent start to the season. The ART Grand Prix driver had achieved a highest result of 25th prior to the weekend, however her speed at Zandvoort was encouraging and she was looking to push forward for midfield positions on her maiden visit to Hungary.


The first on-track action of the event began on Thursday with a pair of collective test sessions which gave Léna a chance to gain experience of the circuit and fine tune car setup.


Finishing the day with a best lap time of a 1:42.181, Bühler had set the 30th fastest time overall. Two further sessions were held on Friday ahead of qualifying and the ART Grand Prix driver improved by a further half a second in the first session, setting the 27th quickest lap, before setting a similar time in session two which saw her close the day in 30th position.


Léna’s debut weekend at the Hungaroring was made more challenge on Saturday morning with wet conditions for qualifying. Nonetheless, Bühler got up to speed quickly and was challenging the top-10 in her group after her first flying laps. As conditions worsened later in the session, drivers were unable to extract peak performance from the tyres and as a result, the ART Grand Prix driver qualified 14th in Group B.


The track had fully dried in time for the opening race of the weekend with Léna lining up from 27th on the overall grid. It was a good initial launch for Bühler who protected her position well early on in the lap, before being shuffled back to 29th at the conclusion of the first tour.


Misfortune then struck on lap two as the ART Grand Prix driver fell to the rear of the field with damage and was forced into the pits. This led to a retirement for Léna in race one of the weekend and was a tough end to her debut race at the Hungaroring.


Léna Bühler, ART Grand Prix, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, Hungaroring 2024
Photo credits: Dutch Photo Agency

Dry and sunny conditions graced the Hungaroring for the second qualifying session of the weekend, with Bühler and her fellow Group B drivers first on track on Sunday morning. Léna set a series of extremely consistent lap times as she continued to build up her confidence after a challenging opening race. At the end of the session, the ART Grand Prix driver’s fastest time of a 1:41.920 placed her 15th in her respective group.


Lining up 29th on the overall grid for the second race of the weekend, Bühler was aiming to make progress and she made a superb start to gain six positions on the opening lap. After Alex Sawer moved ahead on lap two, Léna was still running in 24th position and holding her own nicely against more experienced drivers.


The ART Grand Prix racer found a nice rhythm in the early portion of the race and was enjoying one of her strongest showings of the season to date.

As the halfway mark approached, Bühler’s former F1 Academy rival Marta Garcia was now behind and Léna was again doing a good job in defending her position.


On lap 10, contact between Garcia and Nicola Lacorte saw the safety car deployed with Léna still running in 24th position. The restart came with just two minutes remaining and Bühler’s resistance was finally broken as Jesse Carrasquedo moved ahead. On the final lap of the race, the Sainteloc Racing driver of Enzo Peugeot also found a way through with Léna taking the checkered flag in 26th position.


It was a positive weekend for Bühler who drove her first laps at the Hungaroring in both wet and dry conditions. Her start in race two was particularly impressive and this saw her battle for positions within the midfield.


Léna will be aiming to continue her progress when the Formula Regional European Championship returns at Mugello on the weekend of 13th/14th July.

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