Battle with the elements and add valuable points
The Gender Racing Team continued this year's racing season at the Slovakiaring as the support race of the current round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship. The F4 CEZ Championship had a busy schedule and had to deal with elements of the weather.
As we wrote in the preview of the race weekend, the entire programme of the F4 CEZ Championship was condensed into Friday and Saturday race days. On Friday morning, a free practice session followed by qualifying in the afternoon, and on Saturday morning the first race and almost into the evening the second race. This put quite a lot of pressure on the teams and drivers, because if something happened in the first race, there would have been limited time for the teams to fix it.
Luckily, the GRT team didn't suffer any technical or other problems, so they were able to fine-tune the set-up in free practice and then Oliver was able to start qualifying, where he qualified for the fifth place. Although heavy rain was predicted for Saturday's races on the asphalt of the Slovakiaring, fortunately the first race was still held in ideal, dry conditions. The field was quite streched and the GRT rider reached the finish line in fifth position corresponding to the starting position without any incident.
In comparison, the second race was quite exciting, because before that, a large thunderstorm brought a lot of rain to the track, which also caused a delay. The teams were therefore a bit anxious to see if the second race would take place in the rain or "only" on a heavily wet track. The rain stopped, but the field started the second race on wet tyres and with a rolling start behind the Safety Car. The wet track made fun of many people, including the Gender Racing driver in one of the first laps, but after spun out he was lucky enough to get back on track and continue the race. This put him at a pretty big disadvantage, but then he started to find the pace more and more, so at the end of the race he even set the second fastest lap time. In the final laps at the drying track, he had to look for wet curves with worn-out rain tyres. Oliver was able to keep up the pace in difficult conditions and waved the chequered flag in fourth place, again collecting very valuable points in the championship. Oliver's goal was to build up the pace as before, and now even fight for the podium, was only moderately achieved at the Slovakiaring race weekend, but he managed to finish the race and secure points in both races.
"We raced in different conditions this weekend and had many challenging moments on track. We didn't have the opportunity to do many laps on Friday because there were often red flag in the free practice. On Saturday, in the second race on a wet track we had quite good pace. Although our qualifying and race were not perfect, I'm happy because this is the first time we've driven the new car in these conditions."
F4 CEZ Championship continues at the two Czech venues in August and early September in Most and BRNO.