Emely De Heus is full of fighting talk after netting her best results of the 2024 season so far in Barcelona. The Red Bull Ford driver fought her way from P11 to P6 in Race 1 alongside a top 10 finish in Race 2.

Netting a nine-point haul across Round 3 has given De Heus her first points of what has been a tough sophomore campaign until now.

Whilst she was right in the mix in an action-packed affair on Saturday, Sunday’s race was more about waiting for those around her to flounder. Stuck in a six-car train behind Jessica Edgar for the majority of the race, De Heus eventually capitalised on the penultimate lap when the American Express driver overcooked her tyres.

“To be honest, the race was a bit boring because I was stuck behind someone,” she admitted. “It's hard with the dirty air to overtake because the last two corners are high-speed corners, but if you're too close to someone you get understeer.

“Then it’s hard to overtake on the straight, or you need to prepare really well. Luckily, in the last few laps, I could overtake someone, I was a bit lucky with that as well. Then, I just sat there, so I think Race 1 was a bit more fun.”

Tyre degradation proved to be a dominant feature of the weekend. De Heus acknowledged the need to be strategic when eyeing up a move, with a limited window to attempt an overtake before making yourself vulnerable to those around.

“I already noticed that in Qualifying,” the Dutch driver noted. “I did Turn 2 really slow, I lifted really early to do everything fast and then I saw in the end that I was gaining a bit of time from the person in front of me where I could overtake in another place.

De Heus kicked off her 2024 campaign tally by scoring nine points in Barcelona
De Heus kicked off her 2024 campaign tally by scoring nine points in Barcelona

“I think you should be really careful with the tyres because if you do a full push in the beginning, then halfway into the race, it’s done. I was saving the tyres the whole time and then on the last few laps, I started to push.”

Leaving Jeddah and Miami without any points to her name, De Heus said her Barcelona performances were something she sorely needed. However, she believes her one-lap pace is continuing to hold her back from delivering her full potential.

“I’m a bit disappointed about today, I was expecting more points,” she admitted. “Also, with Qualifying, I was expecting more because last year it went well here. I seem to struggle the whole season and I’m still trying to figure out why. I think it’s good that this weekend has been better than before, so I hope it goes uphill only after this weekend.”

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De Heus plans to make full use of the summer break before Round 4 in Zandvoort at the end of August. Having only raced at her home venue once before, she’s hoping some extra track time can give her a leg up and allow her to take the fight to her rivals at the front of the field.

“Before we head to Zandvoort, I’ll do some races in Eurocup-3. I will do a race at Zandvoort, so I think that’ll be good preparation. It’s actually my home track, but I’ve never really raced there. Then, I will do some sim training and stay fit, but I don’t really struggle with my arms here.

“I’m excited! I wonder how many people I will see from my friends and family. I know a lot of friends will go, but I hope that doesn’t put pressure on me. I hope for a podium. If I say that, some people might think she’s never going to get that, but people thought that last year and then I got on the podium, so I hope I can do it again.”