Jessica Edgar took her first win in F1 Academy as the inaugural season reached its finale in Race 3 in Austin.
With the event getting underway in cooler conditions than in Saturday’s running, pole-sitter Edgar just held on to the lead by taking the inside line from Marta García off the line, before Nerea Martí slipped through into second place to chase down the race leader.
Further back, Abbi Pulling – who made several overtakes on her way to fourth in Race 2 – seemed keen to retake a position she lost at the start as she tried to find a way past Hamda Al Qubaisi for fifth.
Edgar had managed to eke out a gap from Martí at the front entering into Lap 2, while Chloe Chong, Emely De Heus and Chloe Grant engaged in a close duel for seventh. Amid the teams’ battle between their respective outfits, MP Motorsport’s De Heus overtook PREMA Racing driver Chong around the outside, leaving the latter to defend from Grant.
Elsewhere, Lola Lovinfosse was trying to keep Chong’s teammate Bianca Bustamante at bay in a scrap for P11, while Megan Gilkes – competing in the final event of her professional racing career – hunted down Maite Cáceres for 13th place in a thrilling battle.
Some defensive driving from Cáceres enabled the Campos Racing car to hold on for some time before the pair went side-by-side through several corners. Gilkes took the inside line into Turn 15 and managed to clinch the position.
Lovinfosse had closed in on Amna Al Qubaisi in P10 by Lap 9. A slightly wide moment from A. Al Qubaisi prompted the French to try to driver sneak through, but the MP Motorsport car stayed in front. Bustamante then overtook Lovinfosse before the pair made contact into Turn 15, though both were able to continue.
Meanwhile García was pressuring Martí for second place in the final laps, while Edgar maintained a two-second gap in the #11 Rodin Carlin on her way to her debut victory in F1 Academy.
Martí just held on to second, with Champion García in third. Léna Bühler followed closely behind in fourth, while H. Al Qubaisi kept fifth ahead of Pulling in sixth.
Jessica Edgar - Race 3 winner
“It feels amazing to win, F1 Academy have given me amazing opportunity this year and to win in the last round while we are with F1 is an amazing feeling. All the hard work we’ve put in this season has really helped my Qualifying and starting P1 mattered a lot this weekend!”
After a thrilling seven rounds consisting of a total of 21 races – featuring nine different winners – the inaugural F1 Academy campaign is now complete. The 2024 season will kick off in Saudi Arabia in March, and all seven rounds will be in support series to Formula 1. Next year, all 10 F1 teams will also provide a driver to the series and have their livery on one car.