Great starts and a move up on the table
This was the result for GRT's Oliver Michl at the closing round of the first season of the F4 CEZ Championship season at Hungary's newest circuit, Balatonfőkajár on the Balaton Park Circuit! The final round once again featured three races and there was no shortage of excitement even in the final laps.
Participating in the first official championship race weekend of the Balaton Park Circuit near Balatonfőkajár was a great pleasure for GRT as well, as the most successful formula car team in Hungarian motorsport was able to actively participate in such an event of motorsport history.
As expected, it was a lot of work for the team to learn the details of the new track and indeed every lap and kilometre completed during the free practice on Friday was particularly valuable. It was made more difficult by the fact that the brand new asphalt strip had not yet been given the grip-enhancing rubber layer that has been used on the old tracks for so long, and there was also a lot of dust from the construction work going on around the track. Despite the more difficult conditions, the good team work paid off as the seven laps completed in Saturday's qualifying session resulted in a time of fifth on the grid, again quite close to the front.
Unfortunately, in the first race on Saturday afternoon he could not keep this position and finished in seventh place. He was able to start from this position in the second race on Sunday, but this race was the least fortunate as, after an encouraging start, he suddenly lost grip on the third lap and crashed through the gravel and into the barriers. Fortunately, neither the driver nor the car was hurt, but unfortunately he had to give up the penultimate race of the 2023 season.
The season-closing race in the afternoon started well and ended well for Oliver. Again starting from the fifth grid position, he got off to a great start and spent the first few laps fighting for third position, before finally dropping back a little to take the chequered flag in sixth place in the final race of the year.
It was an exciting and challenging weekend of racing for the Gender Racing Team in the first season of the F4 CEZ Championship, which was a great success for both the team manager and the driver:
"It was a very exciting challenge to compete in 2023 in such a new international series with such a serious sporting value, which is also seriously considered by the FIA, right from the start, and which has a very serious sporting perspective for the future. I am very proud of the whole team for having been able to show that we can compete successfully at international level with the latest state-of-the-art racing technology in the history of GRT! I am also very proud of Oliver for being able to compete so effectively in such a strong field with a technique that was new to all of us and for such a consistent performance to finish fourth in the championship at the end of the year. I'm already looking forward to the 2024 season of the F4 CEZ Championship, based on this year's experience and the interest we're seeing for next year! It has also spurred us on to get another new generation T-421, so we are looking to have two cars in the championship next year."
"It was a successful end to the 2023 season. This is thanks to the great team that Tomi has put together. With only a few test days we were able to keep up the pace very well and we are proud of that. The last race of the season at Balaton was interesting, as the race was held on a completely new track. It was a great pleasure to race at the Balaton Park Circuit in front of a home crowd."