First points in F4 Spain season for GRS in Portimão

The second F4 Spanish Championship Round took place at the spectacular Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. After a tough season opener, the team improved significantly in Portugal, fighting at the top and scoring for the first time this season.

Four weeks after the start of the season at Circuito del Jarama, the Formula 4 Spanish Championship season resumed this weekend. Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portugal, hosted the second meeting. GRS came into the weekend looking to regain form after a difficult start.

The team brought new drivers into its line-up. Alongside Douwe Dedecker were Alexander Jacoby, who was making his single seater racing debut after turning 15 two weeks ago, and Lia Block, returned to the team to race in this meeting and the following one, in Paul Ricard. The main goal of both newcomers for this weekend would be to gain experience.

Drivers had a testing session on Friday, which helped them to wrap up their preparations for the weekend. Saturday began with two Free Practice sessions with positive feeling for the team. When it was time to qualify, Dedecker massively improved his form from Jarama as he took P14 on the grid for Race 1, and P13 for Race 2. As for Jacoby, he was 33rd and 31st, with Block in P35 and P34.

Race 1 was held on Saturday afternoon. Dedecker recovered after a tough start to find himself on the group that battled for the final point. Unfortunately, the Belgian driver was involved in an incident which forced him to pit to replace his front wing, losing all chances. Both Jacoby and Block had a trouble-free race, in which they took advantage of the retirements and overtook rivals on track to cross the finish line in P22 and P28, respectively.

Sunday came and Qualifying 2 took place. The entire team kept its consistent improvement, with Jacoby qualifying in 32nd position, Block in 31st, and Dedecker in a great 11th position, just 4 tenths behind Pole.

Race 2 gave the team its first point of the season. Dedecker fought hard to stay in the lead group over the entire race. He avoided trouble and maintained a competitive pace the finish in ninth place, rounding up an excellent drive. As it had happened on the previous race, both Jacoby and Block gained several spots. Alexander made it to the Top 20, and Lia finished in P25.

Dedecker fought to score points again in Race 3. The group he was involved with did several overaggressive moves, forcing the Belgian driver out more than once. Eventually, the #28 had to settle for 14th position. Block completed what was, probably, her best performance of the weekend, gaining multiple spots on track to cross the finish line in P26. Jacoby dropped to the back after an early incident and a spin. He recovered from that and went on to finish the race, an important move on his learning process.

It was not an easy weekend, but the progression made over the season opener was sensational. The efforts of the whole team were rewarded with the first point of the year. The team is satisfied with the results, but we will all keep working to improve them even more.

F4 Spanish Championship is set to return in July 6-7. This time, we will travel to France to race at Circuit Paul Ricard.