After a refreshing summer-break it was time for our FRECA team to continue the second part of the season with a double-header in Austria and Italy for round 7 & 8 of the Formula Regional Championship by Alpine. It would turn out to be a challenging experience with highs and lows. 

The first part of the double-header at the Austrian Red Bull Ring in Spielberg started on Friday with two free practice sessions. Session number one started very promising for the team with Santiago finishing FP1 in P5 and Maceo in P7. With the first two practice sessions in the books, it was now time for the engineers and drivers to find the right set-up for qualifying on Saturday.

After a promising practice Friday, things got really serious on Saturday with Q1 and Race 1 still to come. Q1 resulted in a P8 and P13 for Santiago and Maceo, which meant there was a lot to play for in Race 1 on Saturday afternoon.

A sunny Saturday afternoon in the Austrian Alps and it was time for the first race of the weekend. With Santiago starting from P8 and Maceo from P13, they were both on the hunt for points. Unfortunately Santiago lost quite a lot of places during the first lap as he was pushed into the gravel and dropped to P13. Maceo on the other hand, gained a few places during the race and finished in P10. Santiago finished in P14, but was handed a time penalty for exceeding track-limits and finished in P29. This benefited Maceo as he gained one place post race and finished in P9.

A new day and a new opportunity for better results at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday. First up: Qualifying 2! This time we did get more reasonable results with a P3 for Santiago and a P10 for Maceo. The great work by the engineers and the drivers paid off, but unfortunately due to track-limits, Maceo lost his fastest lap and has to start race 2 from P22.

Sunday afternoon and time for the last race of the weekend in the Austrian Alps. The bad luck was not over yet, as Santiago had a very bad start and dropped through the field. He made his way back to P22 but eventually we had to retire the car with 15 minutes to go. Maceo on the other hand gained quite some places during the race but it was not enough to score points. He finished in P15.

It was not the weekend we hoped for, but we keep working hard! 


There was no time to rest however because a new race weekend was awaiting. The team went straight from Spielberg, Austria to Monza, Italy, for the eighth round of the Formula Regional Championship by Alpine. For the Monza round we welcomed a new driver to our line-up. Danish driver Noah Strømsted will join our team for Monza, in what is going to be his FRECA debut. 

The weekend at ‘’The Temple of Speed’’ started on Friday with two 50 minutes practice sessions for our 3 drivers. The drivers got off to a flying start with a P3 and P4 for Santiago and a P6 and P7 for Macéo in FP1 and FP2. Our rookie driver Noah debuted with a P32 and a P18 on Friday. 

On Saturday it was time for Q1 and Race 1. The drivers confirmed their form at this track, with a P8 for Maceo and a brilliant P11 on his debut for Noah. It was bad luck for Santiago as his car faced electrical problems in Q1. Thanks to a quick repair by the team, he still managed to qualify in P21. 

Monza (ITA), SEP 15-17 2023 – Round eight of Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine 2023 at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Noah STROMSTED #57, RPM. © 2023 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency.

Our drivers got away well during the start and went on the hunt for points. Maceo had the best start and drove in P6 during the first minutes of the race. Unfortunately, through no fault of his own, Maceo crashed out of the race while fighting for P6. Noah meanwhile made his way up to P9 in the race, but there was some more bad luck on the way as Noah faced gearbox problems with 15 minutes to go. This meant another DNF for the team. Santiago eventually finished the race in P14. 

On Sunday it was time to go again with Q2 in the morning and Race 2 in the late afternoon. Santiago again showed his great pace during qualifying and this time all went well with a brilliant fastest lap in Group B, which meant a P2 start for Race 2. Noah was also able to put together a great lap, with a P3 in Group B and starting P6 in Race 2. Maceo made a slight mistake in Q2 and had to start from P19.

In an action-packed Race 2, Santiago managed to stay in P2 while Maceo gained 5 places on his way into the points. Bad luck stroke again as Santiago got hit from behind while defending his P2 position, which dropped him to last place. Noah meanwhile gained one place after another in what would turn out to be a brilliant race by the rookie. He finished P6 in just his second race and this also meant a victory in the rookie championship plus a visit to the beautiful Monza podium!

Next up: Zandvoort (13-14-15 October)

Driver standings after round 8:
P9 Santiago – 65 points
P10 Maceo– 65 points
NC Noah – 8 points
Team standings after round 8:
P5 – 130 points


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RPM S.r.l., Strada Provinciale 10, Nr. 52, 29013 Cerini di Gropparello, Piacenza, Italy
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