Unrewarded effort and performance for GRS in Aragon

The team travelled to MotorLand Aragón to race in the third round of Formula Winter Series. GRS completed a good weekend, had competitive pace, and did a solid job, but did not have the fortune to achieve the expected results.

Round 3 of Formula Winter Series, the Formula 4 winter championship held in Spain, took place during the weekend between the 1st and the 3rd of March at MotorLand Aragón. GRS came into the weekend after finishing the previous weekend on the podium, and willing to extend the positive streak.

The driver who got said podium, Douwe Dedecker, was part of an unchanged line-up for this event. Alongside him were, like on the other meetings, Lia Block and Bianca Bustamante. The Williams Racing and McLaren junior drivers, respectively, did their final race weekend with GRS before starting their F1 Academy season.

Following the same event format from Jerez and Valencia, Thursday and Friday were used to hold test sessions. The team wrapped up the cars’ preparation and set-up while the drivers had a chance to do laps, recognise the layout and gain mileage at this technical track.

Qualifying sessions took place on Saturday morning and were held consecutively. Traffic caused our drivers to struggle as they did not find a chance to use all their pace. Dedecker would start the races from P18, P17, and P16. Block qualified on 26th for Races 1 and 2, and 32nd on the final one. Bianca would start the first race from the pit lane due to an engine replacement that also put her at the back of the grid of Race 2. She qualified on 22nd for Race 3.

Race 1 was cut short by two red flags. The first came at the start, after a serious crash involving three drivers who, thankfully, came out unharmed. At the restart, a penalty left Bianca one lap behind the field and, therefore, with no chance to gain spots. Both Douwe and Lia had competitive pace, and the Belgian was on the fight for scoring points. Unfortunately, the two were penalised for exceeding track limits, so Dedecker ended in P16, and Lia in P30.

Sunday came and Race 2 took place. It was, again, a heat with numerous crashes. Block was sent into a spin by a rival during the opening laps, but managed to recover, keep racing, and bring the car home in 28th position. Dedecker climbed up multiple spots by overtaking rivals and avoiding incidents. The Belgian driver made his way up from 16th on the grid to 9th at the chequered flag after a magnificent drive, but a post-race penalty demoted him to P12. Bustamante, who had started from the back, had also an excellent comeback, getting to fight to reach the Top 20 until she had a tangle with a rival on the final lap.

The final race saw Dedecker fighting for the points again. The #28 had to settle for P13, but shown his speed, his racecraft, and his ability in side-by-side battles. Bustamante ended her FWS stint with her best result after being 19th, while Block retired from the race while racing in the Top 25.

We finish the weekend aware that the results do not reflect the team’s current reality and potential. The job done by the team staff and the drivers was exceptional, and we are confident that, if we keep working like this, we will soon be scoring points consistently.

We say goodbye to Lia Block and Bianca Bustamante after three race weekends. Thanks to the two drivers, and to Williams and McLaren as well, for their trust in GRS Team. We wish them the best for their upcoming F1 Academy season, which starts next week.

Racing does not stop either for GRS. We Will be back on track next weekend to race in Formula Winter Series season finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.