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London, U.K. – Alexandra Mohnhaupt took the championship lead after the first round of the 2017-2018 NACAM F4 at Hermanos Rodriguez with two podium finishes for MOMO F4.
Mohnhaupt's third consecutive entry in the Mexican F4 got underway to a flying start for the Puebla born racer, as she set the pace straight out of the box during first practice on Friday by a comfortable seven tenths of a second.
The mid-afternoon session meant track temperature was high, but Mohnhaupt found her groove and shone throughout the session. Second practice took place on Saturday morning following overnight rain showers while the circuit was still damp. Mohnhaupt couldn’t set the pace again this time around, but ended the session fourth fastest going into qualifying.
The circuit had dried out in time for qualifying and Mohnhaupt qualified P4 for Race 1, feeling as though she still had more speed to give if she had maximised her fresh rubber a bit further. At the start of Race 1, Mohnhaupt was pushed wide onto the grass down the long main straight, losing ground to the front three runners, but still managing to hold position in P4. She thought hard to close back the gap and ended her race P3, finding a way to put her Lap 1 rival behind her.
For the reverse grid race on Sunday, Mohnhaupt started in P3, making a great start off the line and leading the race for the first half of the race until a race incident led to the safety car controlling the race. Mohnhaupt’s gap to P2 was diminished and the pressure was on at the restart. Unfortunately, an upshift error meant that the Mohnhaupt lost momentum down the straight and fellow Mexican, Moisés de la Vara, took the race lead until the chequered flag.
Mohnhaupt secured her first double podium in a single-seater and is also the only female contender in the Mexican F4 championship. Her summer test with Fortec Motorsport this summer in BRDC F3 car, in addition to a joker entry in the British F4 round at Snetterton in July, has prepared Mohnhaupt well for the season where she plans to win the domestic F4 title in Mexico.
Mohnhaupt commented post-weekend:
"It was a pretty good weekend. I was fastest on the first day of practice and then I analysed the video from my session with Charlie [Eastwood]. However the track was a little bit wet during practice on Saturday, but still slick tyre conditions. It was a little bit hard because the balance of the car wasn’t good, and when I hit the brakes, I was locking up at the front, so I finished fourth in the session.""It was hard for qualifying because I didn’t use all of the grip at my disposal and I qualified fourth. I finished my first race in third place after making up a position and learnt how to improve my time through the esses in the second sector by following Moisés and learning how much speed to carry through these corners. I was the fastest in the first and second sectors by the end of the weekend, so I am feeling ready for the next round which also takes place at Hermanos Rodriguez."
Follow the next round of the NACAM F4 in Mexico City from 27-29 October, which supports the Formula 1 Gran Premio de México.