Havrda Fifth in Championship after Pair of Podium Finishes at Road America

May 21, 2024

Shift Up Now Athlete Nicole Havrda came home with back-to-back P3 finishes on Saturday and Sunday during Rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the Formula Regional (FR) Americas Championship at Road America on May 17-19, 2024.

This was the first FR Americas podium finish for Havrda, making her just the second female in the history of the series to stand on the podium.

Driving the No. 6 Valley Kitchens/Colonial Countertops car for Kiwi Motorsport, Havrda’s Road America SpeedTour weekend began with testing on Thursday. She was in the top ten during both sessions that day on the 4.048-mile, 15-turn road course. Her speed continued during the official practice on Friday morning, when she posted the seventh-fastest time.

Qualifying took place on Friday afternoon to set the grid for the first race of the weekend. Elevated track temps challenged the field after practicing in cooler conditions that morning. Havrda qualified P4, her best FR Americas qualifying performance yet, in her Ligier Automotive chassis and brand new tires.

The first 30-minute race took place on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Havrda lined up for the standing start on the outside of row two. She had a good start, but as she struggled to get heat into the tires due to cool track temps, she dropped back two spots.

She battled for position and was running P5 just before the halfway point, when a full-course caution came out. With just one lap to go, the green flag flew, causing a one-lap shoot-out. Havrda found herself right back in the battle from before the caution flag. She finished P5, only a half-second behind the P4 car and just 0.055 seconds ahead of the P6 car.

After having set the sixth-fastest lap in race one, Havrda lined up in P6 - on the outside of row three - for the second 30-minute race. When the green flag flew at 5:25 p.m., she made a clean start and once again found herself fighting immediately for position.

Past the halfway point of the race, a caution flag flew. When the track returned to green, nine minutes remained and Havrda made a pass to take the P5 spot. Two minutes later, the second- place car spun at turn 11, advancing Havrda to P4.

When the checkered flag fell, she was in P4, running just a few seconds behind the third-place car. This gap would prove to be crucial when that car was assessed a five-second, post-race penalty for jumping the start. As a result, Havrda was promoted to P3.

The final 30-minute race of the weekend took place on Sunday at 1:40 p.m. Once again, Havrda had set the sixth-fastest lap in race two, and was lined up in P6 for race three. After a

clean start, the two cars ahead of Havrda out-braked each other and ran wide while fighting for position. Despite being on cold tires, she passed both at once and advanced to P4.

After an early safety car period and a single-file restart, Havrda maintained her position and continued to chase third and gap the cars behind her. With just a few laps to go, the P3 car spun at turn 11, advancing Havrda to P3.

The podium finish moved her to the top five in the FR Americas championship points.

“This weekend at Road America, I showed that I am a podium runner and I deserve to be there,” said Havrda. “That’s what I wanted to prove to everyone. That I am capable of being a contender. Huge thank you to the amazing Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport team, especially Garry and Teena, and to my parents.”

Havrda and the FR Americas Championship heads to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway next for the Indy SpeedTour on June 13-16, 2024.

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