Zach David narrowly misses out on FRECA podium at Hungaroring

Starting from the front row of the grid, Zachary ‘Zach’ David wrung out the best he could from his #20 R-ace GP entry to cross the finish line in 2nd at the Hungaroring. Unfortunately, his hard-fought podium at Round 4 of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine’s (FRECA) was later nullified, but still left the Malta-licensed Filipino driver with a best 7th place finish from the weekend.

It was already clear during Friday Testing that David one of the fastest drivers around the 4.381 km circuit. He later confirmed this by topping the time sheets during Saturday Qualifying for the Group A runners, which earned him P2 at  the start of Race 1.

David would get a clean getaway and immediately slotted behind teammate Tuukka Taponen who started from pole. The pair then lead the full 32-car grid in formation, holding the 1-2 spot for most of the race distance. But the 16-year-old came under increasing pressure from Brando Badoer of Van Amersfoort Racing with only a few laps to go. Badoer eventually got alongside with both drivers going wide and over the runoff area. David was able to keep position as the drivers behind him scrambled for position to take 2nd across the line. However, he was handed a 10 secs time penalty after the race that dropped him to 7th in the official standings but still in the points.

Now starting from P12 on Sunday, David managed to avoid the opening lap chaos of Race 2 and maintain position as the field made its way around the circuit. But in stark contrast to his blistering pace on Saturday, David was unable to challenge for position and attested to the Hungaroring’s reputation for being one of the hardest track to overtake. At the end of 17-laps, he took the chequered flag in the same position he started in 12th place. It was only after the race did the team notice that David’s front wing was half detached due to a missing screw, which explains his lack of pace.

There’s only a short 3 week break before the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA) resumes on the 13th to 14th of July. The series now moves to Mugello Circuit in Italy for Round 5 in the 2024 calendar.

Zach David: “Overall not too bad of a weekend looking at the bigger picture. We made steps in the right direction, just need to put everything together and we’ll be up there consistently. Definitely missed a chance at finishing on the podium in Race 1 and not much I can do in Race 2 after part of my front wing came loose. Lost some points this weekend, but there are still positives to look forward to and improve on for the next round at Mugello.”

Zach David is sponsored by Ceramic Pro, Stilo Helmets, Attard Baldacchino, Puma, Green Amenities, JG Summit Olefins Corporation, AutoPlus Sports, Automobile Association Philippines, Time Attack Manila, ISR, and Malta Motorsports Federation.

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