ART Grand Prix’s Lena Buhler made amends for losing victory in race one to gearbox problems with an untroubled lights-to-flag win in the third F1 Academy race at Barcelona.
The Sauber junior made a strong start from pole, immediately pulling to the inside to defend her lead into turn one.
From there she was never under threat, gradually extending her advantage over MP Motorsport’s Hamda Al Qubaisi to claim her maiden race win in single-seaters.
Prema’s Marta Garcia was able to keep the gap to Al Qubaisi within a second for most of the race but without getting close enough to make an overtaking attempt. She dropped back in the closing stages, finishing 2.15s behind Al Qubaisi in third.
Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling made a poor start, losing a position to MP’s Amna Al Qubaisi, but was able to recover her fourth place almost immediately. She could not match the pace of the trio in front, however, running a lonely race to take fourth.
MP’s race one winner Emely de Heus quickly pulled onto the gearbox of her team-mate but once in the train could make no further progress.
The main excitement behind in the final stages came from Campos Racing’s Lola Lovinfosse who had moved past her team-mate Nerea Marti to eighth and closed rapidly in on the MP pair ahead.
After having a look at the inside of de Heus into turn 10, she finally made the move stick through turns one and two on the final lap. Pulling out of the slipstream on the straight she dived for the inside, as de Heus resisted, the pair running side-by-side through the right-left combination with Lovinfosse emerging in front.
As Amna Al Qubaisi incurred a five -second penaly for exceeding track limits, it meant Lovinfosse was promoted to fifth in the race result and de Heus to sixth after she held off Marti, who had passed Carlin’s Megan Gilkes into turn one on the penultimate lap. With the penalty applied, Al Qubaisi was classified ninth.
Race result (16 laps)
|1||Lena Buhler||ART Grand Prix|
|2||Hamda Al Qubaisi||MP Motorsport||+3.107s|
|5||Lola Lovinfosse||Campos Racing||+16.327s|
|6||Emely de Heus||MP Motorsport||+16.953s|
|7||Nerea Marti||Campos Racing||+17.528s|
|9||Amna Al Qubaisi||MP Motorsport||+20.897s|
|11||Chloe Grant||ART Grand Prix||+24.298s|
|12||Maite Caceres||Campos Racing||+24.684s|
|13||Carrie Schreiner||ART Grand Prix||+29.298s|
|Fastest lap: H Al Qubaisi, 1m42.508s