Marta García claimed a third F1 Academy win. The PREMA Racing driver was imperious in today’s Race 3 in Valencia, from start to finish, executing a perfect launch off the line from pole and managing a comfortable gap to cross the line ahead of fellow Spaniard Nerea Martí, while Abbi Pulling completed the podium.
Starting from P2, Rodin Carlin’s Pulling lost out at turn one to Marti and slipped into third position. García’s pace at the front was better than anyone’s, building a 2s gap to Campos Racing’s Martí in the opening laps. Meanwhile, further down the field, Jessica Edgar was locked in a battle with ART Grand Prix’s Lola Lovinfosse and the MP Motorsport duo of Amna Al Qubaisi and Hamda Al Qubaisi.
Unfortunately for the Rodin Carlin young driver, the fight ended with some front wing damage on her car, which forced her to pit for some repairs.
As García looked as though she was powering away to her third win of the season, Martí went on the aggressive, snatching the fastest lap on the grid and reducing the gap to within two seconds.
The gap was reduced event further after contact between Lovinfosse and Chloe Grant. The French driver spun out into the gravel, which brought out the safety car, bunching up the cars with only six laps left to go.
As the action got back under way, Grant, who was handed a 5s time penalty for track limits, was under pressure from the bunched up midfield, with all seeing an opportunity to score valuable points.
At the front, García secured a one second lead over Martí with the rest of the field battling to get as close to the podium positions as possible. With all the cars pushing on the final lap of the race, another collision between PREMA’s Chloe Chong and Rodin Carlin’s Megan Gilkes left both cars trapped in the gravel.
This in turn gave the opportunity to Edgar, who managed to recover from her car damage to get the final points scoring position in the race.
But it was García who crossed the line in first place, with Martí in second and Pulling in third having held off yesterday’s double podium sitter Léna Bühler.
Winners Quote – Marta García
“We had a good start but I knew that Nerea was quick around here and was doing some fast laps. I managed it quite well after the safety car and was really happy with the win.
“After a difficult Saturday where I qualified further down the grid due to track limits, it feels good to get another win and to get another win in the series.”
As It Stands
As the weekend’s action draws to a close, Garcia extends her lead to 35 points over Hamda Al Qubaisi, while Marti moves up into P3 in the standings.
PREMA Racing lead the Team’s Standings, with MP Motorsport and ART Grand Prix rounding out the top 3.
The teams will remain in Valencia and will conduct two test days on the 9th and 10th of May, before heading to Barcelona for Round 3 on May 19th.