Nicole’s Excellent Adventure at Road America

Nicole Havrda and the Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport team made their way to the iconic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for round two of the 2024 Formula Regional Americas series. And the weekend couldn’t have gone much better for the British Columbia native.

Thursday’s practice saw Nicole coming to grips with the daunting track, and getting faster with each session; something she continued to do throughout the weekend. Her improvement was such that, after qualifying on Friday, she found herself fourth on the grid.

Race 1
As the lights went out for the start of Saturday’s first race, Nicole had too much wheelspin, and quickly found herself in fifth.

For the next few laps, Nicole was in a tight three-way battle for fourth, before slipping to sixth. With seventeen minutes remaining in the thirty minute race, Nicole took full advantage of a competitor spinning at Canada Corner, to retake fourth place.

A spin and crash with thirteen minutes left brought out a lengthy safety car period. On the restart, Nicole found herself in a wheel-to-wheel battle for fourth as she crossed the start-finish line for a one lap sprint to the finish. Unfortunately, it was Nicole who came up slightly short, finishing fifth at the chequered flag.

Race 2
The day’s second race saw Nicole make a better start and, as the cars raced side-by-side through Turn One, she held her position. She continued to do so until the fifteen-minute mark, when a slight error saw her close pursuer pass and push her down to sixth. It continued to be a tight three-way battle for fourth, with Nicole only three-tenths of a second behind the fifth place car.

With nine minutes to go, Nicole made a pass for fifth, and with seven minutes remaining, the second-place car spun at Turn 11, promoting her to a well earned fourth place. This became third when one of the cars ahead was deemed to have jumped the start.

Race 3
Sunday saw the twelve cars line up for the final race of the weekend. Despite wheelspin at the start, Nicole held her position as the pack exited Turn One.

Crossing the start-finish line to begin lap 2, Nicole was only a tenth of a second behind, and right on the gearbox, of the fifth place car. She attempted an inside pass going into Turn One but couldn’t quite make it happen. Shortly after, a car found itself in the barriers at Turn 13 and the safety car was dispatched.

After a lengthy ten-minute safety car period, the green flag was waved for the restart and the cars raced into the first corner. As they battled through Turn One, two cars ran wide. Nicole took full advantage of the mayhem to move into fourth place.

With just under twelve minutes to go, the third-place car spun into the barriers just past The Kink. A quick-thinking Nicole narrowly avoided contact and she now found herself in third place.

This time the wreckage could not be cleared in time, and the race ended under the safety car; giving the Canadian driver her second podium of the weekend.

“It was a crazy weekend,” she said.

“I’m so happy to get my first ever FR Americas podium here at Road America. And even better, I got two!”

There is now an almost one month break before the series resumes at Indianapolis.