With less than a week since the last race at Indianapolis, twelve cars made their way to Mid-Ohio for the fourth round of the 2024 Formula Regional Americas Championship.

Unusually for the series, there would only be two races during the weekend, instead of the usual three.

Friday practice would see Titus Sherlock crash heavily at the Keyhole. The damage was such that he would not take part in the weekend’s races; further reducing the field to eleven cars.

In practice and qualifying, Nicole found herself fighting an oversteering car. Additionally, she missed the final practice on Friday. With these issues, she would line up fifth on the grid for Saturday’s first race of the weekend.

Race 1
The start saw Nicole hold her position. However, from the start she was under pressure from the faster car of Hayden Bowlsbey.

On lap six Bowlsbey attempted to pass Nicole on the outside of Turn 4. However, the young Canadian successfully defended the position, and Bowlsbey was still behind as they entered Turn 5.

The two drivers continued to battle nose-to-tail. As they raced down the straight into Turn 4, Bowlsbey again pulled out of Nicole’s slipstream entering the turn – this time on the inside.

Exiting Turn 4, the two drivers were side-by-side, giving Nicole the advantage of the inside line into Turn 5, and she was again successful at fending off the attack.

The battle between Nicole and Bowlsbey was the best action on the track – even seeing the pursuing Bowlsbey lock up going into the Carousel. The intense battle allowed the car of Justin Garat to close up on the pair.

With only twelve minutes to go in the thirty minute race, Bowlsbey once again pulled out of NIcole’s draft and dove to the inside of his favourite overtaking spot – Turn 4. Once again, the two drivers were side-by-side exiting the turn, only this time, they were side-by-side going into Turn 5. This was all the the faster car of Bowlsbey needed, as it left Nicole on the outside through Turn 6, allowing not only Bowlsbey to claim fifth, but slowing Nicole just enough for the car of Garat to sneak through; pushing a hard-fighting Nicole down to seventh.

With nine minutes to go, the third-place car of Nicolas Ambiado pitted and retired with an apparent gearbox issue. This promoted Nicole to sixth – a position she would hold to the chequered flag.

“I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t get the result I wanted,” she said.

“But I had an amazing battle, and I’m gonna keep my head down and work on cleaning up some mistakes I made.”

Race 2
Sunday saw the drivers wake up to dark skies, pouring rain and a damp track for the final race of the weekend.

Nicole lined up eighth on the grid for the 25 minute race. As the lights went out, the BC driver quickly moved up to seventh.

As the cars crossed the start/finish line, the first four cars were pulling away from the next tightly packed group of four cars, with seventh place Nicole a second behind fifth.

Fighting for sixth, Nicole briefly locked up going into Turn 4. However, little to no time was lost as the three cars continued their battle for fifth spot.

Going into the fourth lap, the battle for fifth to seventh was taking its toll, and they were now nearly seven seconds behind the slightly spread out lead group.

Things remained fairly static until lap 13, when the safety car came out for the fifth place car, which disappeared. Nicole was now sixth.

With just over three minutes remaining, racing resumed. It was now a three lap sprint to the finish – with all positions remaining static as the chequered flag fell.

A candid Nicole said, “I struggled to get the tire temps up. I had some really good battles, but just couldn’t find the pace to make the top five.”

After a hectic couple of weeks with two races back-to-back, the drivers now have a break of over a month until the series resumes in New Jersey. near the end of July.