Hamda Al Qubaisi led from start to finish as she took a dominant win in Race 1 in Zandvoort. The Emirati driver got off to an electric start from the safety car start, creating a clear gap to Léna Bühler in P2. Meanwhile, series leader Marta García overtook fellow Spaniard Nerea Martí at Turn 1 as she sought her fifth podium in a row.
Despite Zandvoort being one of the more challenging tracks on the calendar for overtaking, Rodin Carlin’s Jessica Edgar proved moves are possible at the Dutch circuit, gaining a position on home favourite Emely de Heus on Lap 2. Edgar’s teammate Abbi Pulling also made up two places early on as she began her recovery drive, having started in P12.
H. Al Qubaisi and Bühler continued to demonstrate the speed they have shown all weekend by pulling away from the rest of the pack, with the Emirati driver two seconds clear of Bühler, who had pulled a 1.5 second gap to García.
The lead would only keep growing for H. Al Qubaisi as she continued to set purple sector after purple sector. Further down the field, Britain’s Pulling expertly navigated PREMA Racing’s Bianca Bustamante before Lola Lovinfosse dived down the inside of the Turn 4 banking to overtake Megan Gilkes for P11.
There was heartbreak for García as she began dropping back through the pack and out of podium contention. The PREMA Racing driver would ultimately have to retire from the race with an issue, leaving the door open for Martí and Edgar to battle for P3. Having successfully held the inside line at Turn 1 on Edgar, Martí would create a solid gap to the Rodin Carlin driver.
It would be H. Al Qubaisi who saw the chequered flag first, crossing the line with a five second lead as she cut down Garcia’s advantage at the front of the Drivers’ Standings to just 13 points. ART Grand Prix’s Bühler followed in P2 and Martí sealed P3.
Race Winners Quote:
“I feel good, I didn’t even see the chequered flag because of how focused I was! I’m really happy to get closer to the series leader – Marta was quite far away going into the weekend and it is much closer now.
“I hope that we can keep this pace, the team is doing great, I’m really happy with all the work they put in. My engineer, my parents, and everyone here supporting me means a lot and that is why we are where we are.”
As it stands:
H. Al Qubaisi closes the gap to García to just 13 points ahead of tomorrow’s Race 2 and Race 3. Meanwhile, MP Motorsport extend their lead at the top of the Team’s Standings after Top 10 finishes for all three drivers.
Race 2 kicks off at 08:40 as MP Motorsport’s Amna Al Qubaisi starts on reverse pole position before Race 3 at 17.25 in the late afternoon sees H. Al Qubaisi on pole once again.