Home Featured Iron Dames to enter FREC with Garcia and Pin as driver line-up

Iron Dames to enter FREC with Garcia and Pin as driver line-up

by Ida Wood

Photo: Iron Dames

Iron Dames has made a surprise announcement that it will join this year’s Formula Regional European Championship grid with Marta Garcia and Doriane Pin as its two drivers.

Garcia will be leaving Prema’s line-up, having signed with the team almost half a year ago, while Pin will be combining FREC with her F1 Academy campaign with Prema and World Endurance Championship programme with Iron Lynx.

Pin is currently third in the F1 Academy standings after taking a victory and two poles in the season opener. The 20-year-old Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior, already an accomplished sportscar racer, made her single-seater debut less than five months ago and has already won races in three different Formula 4 championships.

In July 2021, Prema joined forces with rival Italian team Iron Lynx under a new owner, DC Racing Solutions. The management of that company included amateur racers Deborah Mayer and Claudio Schiavoni, who helped to form Iron Lynx and its female-focused Iron Dames counterpart.

Prema had worked behind-the-scenes with Iron Lynx when the latter first joined Formula 4, but had scaled back its involvement by the time the two teams tied up under a new owner. That change however then led to Prema actively supporting Iron Lynx through the 2022 Italian F4 season, and vice versa as Prema ventured into sportscar racing that year.

Formula Scout understands a similar dynamic will be behind Iron Dames’ expansion into FREC, which could prove crucial for its competitiveness since it has missed the first two pre-season tests, and which in part explains why Garcia has been free to leave Prema and that Pin will be free to race in round one at Hockenheim on May 11/12 despite it being the same weekend she is supposed to race an Iron Dames-branded and Iron Lynx-run GT3 car in WEC’s Spa-Francorchamps Six Hours.

There are three further date clashes. FREC heads to the Hungaroring on June 22/23 when F1 Academy is at Barcelona, the Sao Paulo Six Hours is on July 14 when FREC is racing at Mugello, and on September 14/15 the Fuji Six Hours clashes with FREC’s races at the Red Bull Ring. In all three of those instances there would be no way to do double duty.

Since Garcia had been set to fill Prema’s fourth car, and as a points-eligible driver due to winning the 2023 F1 Academy title, it is not yet clear whether the team’s involvement with Iron Dames will now impact on it being able to put a fourth entry on track on occasion for a guest driver as rival teams do.

Additional reporting by Roger Gascoigne