Formula Winter Series season comes to an end in Barcelona

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosted the fourth and final Formula Winter Series meeting this weekend. The team was quick and competitive during the whole weekend, and we achieved positive results.

Formula Winter Series was back this weekend. The championship finished its second ever season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It was an unusual weekend, heavily influenced by severe weather on Saturday. Our pace was optimal, and both of our drivers consistently found themselves among the Top 10.

GRS entered two drivers into the meeting. Alongside F4 usual Douwe Dedecker, Reno Francot completed our line-up. The Dutch driver is the current Formula 4 CEZ vice-champion, and he faced the challenge of returning to racing after not having driven a Formula 4 car for five months.

Thursday and Friday here used for testing sessions. The second day was heavily influenced by red flags and changing weather, so it was difficult to draw conclusions. However, the pace and overall feeling were positive given the circumstances.

Saturday came and it started raining heavily. The track quickly soaked, and the visibility conditions were atrocious. Qualifying was therefore abandoned just a couple of minutes after its start. To set the grid for Race 1, Friday lap times were taken. However, the race was also cancelled after two laps behind the Safety Car, so no points were awarded.

Conditions were dry on Sunday. Qualifying 2 took place in the morning. The best lap would set the grid for Race 3, while the second-best lap set the grid for Race 2. The track was still damp, so the team chose to put wet tyres on. Our drivers performed superbly, with Dedecker qualifying on ninth for Race 2, and on sixth for Race 3; and Francot on P8 and P13, respectively.

Race 2, which was actually the first of the weekend, took place shortly after Qualifying. Reno did a magnificent start and climbed up to fifth position. The Dutch driver was in the fight for fourth, but eventually crossed the finish line on P5. Later, a time penalty dropped him out of the Top 10. Douwe was fast as well. He lost a few places at the start after being blocked by another driver. The Belgian driver then gained spots until reaching P6. He was passed in a Safety Car restart and ended up being involved in an incident with a rival. However, he managed to see the chequered flag in P10 despite having front wing damage.

On the final race, Dedecker was once again involved in the lead group, fighting his way up on a chaotic race. The #28 saw the chequered flag on seventh place, scoring 6 more points on the final drivers’ standings. Francot also progressed and improved throughout the race, gaining spots to end up in P9.

The Formula Winter Series season comes to its end after this weekend. The championship was significantly useful to face the upcoming Formula 4 Spanish Championship season with more experience and things learnt. Our participation in Formula Winter Series will undoubtedly help us be faster at the main Spanish series, which is expected to be as competitive as ever, and will start on May 10 at Circuito del Jarama.