It was an exciting weekend for Nicole Havrda at the first Formula Pro Winter Series event of the season.
The team made its way to the warm weather of California’s wine country of Sonoma, only to find it really was a winter series. The weather was rainy and cold, as California deals with record cold temperatures.
Saturday’s first qualifying session got underway under wet conditions, and near-freezing temperatures. The session ended with Nicole qualifying a fine second in the treacherous conditions.
Mixed track conditions greeted the drivers as they lined up for first race. Although mostly dry, the track still had several wet and damp sections from the morning’s rain.
The damp track proved a problem for the front row, as both cars dropped positions at the start – Nicole falling from second to fourth. By lap four she was back up to second, and in pursuit of the leader.
Nicole was was in tight pursuit, but was held up in traffic and lost time. The chequred flag saw her finish an excellent second.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race was a battle for pole between Nicole and one other driver. The pair kept chipping away at their times. Near the end of qualifying, Nicole set a time that proved to be unbeatable and she had her first pole position!
The weekend’s final race saw more rain as the drivers lined up on the grid, once again in cold, wet conditions. Unfortunately, Nicole was unable to capitalize on her excellent pole position. On lap two, she was caught out by the wet conditions, spinning into retirement.
Nevertheless, a pole and second place were an excellent way to start the season.
The team barely has time to catch their breath as they make their way to Thunderhill for the next event, this coming weekend.