Back-to-Back Points Finishes for Havrda at Nola SpeedTour

April 16, 2024

Shift Up Now Athlete Nicole Havrda kicked off the 2024 Formula Regional (FR) Americas Championship with P7 and P6 finishes at Nola Motorsports Park on April 12-14, 2024.

Testing and practice for the 15-car field took place on Thursday and Friday. Havrda maintained a top-ten pace throughout several sessions as she prepared for qualifying on Saturday.

Driving the No. 6 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsports car, with Ligier chassis and Honda engine, this is Havrda’s first-full season in the FR Americas Championship.

On Saturday morning, Havrda got up to speed quickly in the qualifying session. During the first flying laps of the day, she was inside the top five. Temperatures rose throughout the session, so as competitors found speed over the last few laps, Havrda dropped to a P9 qualifying spot. Still satisfied with a top-ten result, she was ready for race one.

Rounds one, two and three of the FR Americas Championship were 30 minutes, each with a standing start per Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) regulations. In addition, FIA races award points solely to the top ten finishers.

Starting from P9, Havrda had a solid start to race one, advancing to P8 early on. The remainder of the competition was mired by safety car periods and a red flag, the Canadian driver stayed clean and drove smart. She continued to show improving pace and earned a P7 finish at the checkered flag.

Race two began with a clean start from P7 for Havrda, based on her race-one finish. The first safety car came out at the end of the first lap, followed by several more, just like the day before. Havrda moved up to P6, and despite having to defend a few times after the restarts, maintained her position.

With just under five minutes to go, the race was red-flagged for a spun car. Race control aimed to give the field a final restart opportunity but later decided against it. Havrda’s P6 marked her second points finish of the weekend.

Race three saw Havrda starting from P6. Once again, the safety car came out at the end of the first lap. But after a clean restart, the field settled in for the longest green-flag run of the weekend. Havrda maintained her P6 position, holding off pressure from the seventh-place driver and repeating her weekend’s best lap times. Unfortunately, her oil pressure alarm went off with five minutes left in the race. She was forced to switch off and retire the car.

Despite the tough ending, Havrda was pleased with the weekend, and her potential for the rest of the championship season.

“Overall, it was a good start to the season,” said Havrda. “I focused on making consistent improvements throughout the weekend and finishing the races with no mistakes.

“Huge thank you to the Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport crew, and my amazing parents and the fans that were watching the race. My goal for our next event at Road America is a top-five finish, and my team and I will be working extra hard to achieve that.”

Next up, the FR Americas Championship series heads to Wisconsin for the Road America SpeedTour on May 16-19, 2024.

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