Zach David`s strong pace at Hockenheim FRECA opener come to naught

After showing so much promise throughout testing and qualifying, Zachary ‘Zach’ David was out of luck during the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA) season opener at Hockenheimring. A costly error and lengthy Safety Car periods spoiled his chances of a strong result, which prevented the Malta-licensed Filipino driver from delivering on his potential in Germany.

David was consistently at the sharp end of the field on Friday and looked good heading into Round 1 of the 2024 championship. Driving the #20 entry of R-ace GP, he managed to set the 3rd fastest time in his group during Qualifying that was good enough to earn him a P6 slot on the grid.

A quick launch off the line saw the 16-year-old make up 2 places straightaway in Race 1 as the 33-car grid funneled through Turn 1. Unfortunately, David’s race lasted only a few hundred meters later. He locked up braking into Turn 2 that pitched him into a spin. Unsighted, another driver then made contact with his stricken car and sadly forced him into a DNF while in P4.

David would get another shot to turn his fortunes around on Sunday. Although he missed the ideal performance window in Qualifying, he still had a chance to fight from P24 on the grid. He was on a charge as soon as the lights turned green in Race 2 and was up to P18 at the end of the second lap before the Safety Car was called out on track. David gained another place after the restart, but the Safety Car had to be called out on 2 more occasions after. With so many incidents, the race was under green flag for only a handful of laps and severely limited David’s chances. In the end, the entire field crossed the finish line under full course yellow with David concluding his first FRECA weekend in 16th.

Despite missing out on the points, David was able to show a lot of potential on his first outing in Europe this 2024. He’ll be aiming to convert his pace into point-scoring finishes in 2 week’s time when the season hosts Round 2 at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on the 25th to 26th of May.

Zach David: “A tough weekend at Hockenheim. I surely had the speed and was driving well, just a few unlucky moments and some things out of my control that prevented us from having good results. It’s just annoying that the results don’t reflect our real pace and potential. But that’s all behind me now and the goal is to show what I can really do in Spa for the next round.”

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