Plenty of action for the Sauber Academy in busy spring

Published on Saturday, June 1, 2024

Plenty of action for the Sauber Academy in busy spring

A busy couple of months saw the Sauber Academy fully engaged with their respective campaigns, as well as training and taking part in testing sessions, travelling to historic European circuits and to the United States.

Making the move across the Atlantic was Théo Pourchaire, who made his IndyCar debut in late April at the Grand Prix of Long Beach with Arrow McLaren, replacing the injured David Malukas. The Frenchman enjoyed a strong debut, making up eleven positions in total and eventually finishing 11th, collecting 19 points. The championship then moved to the Barber Motorsports Club in Birmingham, Alabama, where Théo claimed 22nd place at the finish line, having started from P24. Théo’s impressive debut earned him a seat with Arrow McLaren for the remainder of the season, bar the Indianapolis 500. Come May, activities moved to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Frenchman took part in the Indianapolis Grand Prix, finishing 18th. As part of his Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber reserve driver role, Théo also took part in simulator sessions in the team’s Hinwil headquarters between April and May. Théo’s next IndyCar race will take place in Detroit for the eponymous Grand Prix at the first weekend of June.

Sharing simulator duties with Théo was Zane Maloney, who visited Hinwil in April, supporting the team ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix. Resuming his Formula 2 campaign after a month-long break following the first three intense rounds, Zane headed to Imola in the second half of May, racing at the historic Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Qualifying sixth on the grid for the Feature Race, and fifth for the Sprint for the reversed grid rule, the young Barbadian fought his way up to the podium on Saturday, claiming third place at the chequered flag. Some difficulties on Sunday prevented Zane from finishing in the points, only finishing 11th, but he still left Italy at the top of the standings. Action resumed just a few days later in the iconic streets of Monaco, for the fifth round of the championship. With the grid split into two groups for qualifying, the Bajan driver was hampered by traffic and only managed to set the fourteenth fastest time. An on-track contact at Rascasse saw Zane’s Sprint race finish earlier than expected; he instead managed to make up a few places on Sunday, moving up on the grid to 10th place and claiming the last of the available points. A tough weekend on the streets of the Principality saw Zane move down to third place in the standings, 12 points away from new leader, Paul Aron. Zane will take part in additional simulator sessions supporting Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix. After a month-long break, racing will resume in Barcelona, at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, where the young Barbadian will get back on track determined to claim back the lead in the standings.

Léna Bühler dedicated the month of April to training and testing sessions, preparing her return to the Formula Regional European Championship. The Swiss racer finally hit the track in unmistakable neon racing green and black at the Barcelona, Paul Ricard, and Hockenheim circuits throughout April, getting to know the new car and gathering important data from the testing sessions. Léna then returned to the Hockeneimring in May, for the debut race of the season. Qualifying P32 for Race 1, Léna battled her way up the tight field, eventually finishing 26th. Luck wasn’t on the Swiss driver’s side for Race 2, which saw Léna out of the competition following a contact on track. Still enjoying good progression throughout the weekend and learning a lot, Léna returned to racing in Spa a fortnight later. In what ended up being a challenging weekend, affected by the Ardennes’ typical changing weather conditions, Léna finished 27th and 25th in the two races. The Swiss racer will return on track in Zandvoort in June, aiming to put a difficult round behind and get started anew.

Flying Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber’s colours on the F1 Academy grid, Carrie Schreiner was on track in Zandvoort for a collective in-season test at the end of April, before flying out to Florida for the second round of the season in Miami. Qualifying P13 for both races, Carrie claimed a twelfth place in Race 1, while she battled for a few spots higher in Race 2, finishing P9. Despite a few struggles throughout the weekend, Carrie still managed to bring home a few points, aiming to get back to it stronger in a few weeks’ time in Montmeló, at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, for the third round of the championship.

Taym Saleh headed to Val d’Argenton, in France, to take part in the Champions of the Future Round 2. Despite making it into the Super Heats, Taym’s finishing position wasn’t enough to make the cut, and the young German didn’t qualify for Sunday’s Final. He then returned to the French track two weeks later, for the European Championship round. With the learnings from the previous weekend, Taym qualified for the Super Heats again and made it through to the Final, eventually finishing 24th due to some on-track difficulties. After a few weeks away from track action, Taym will return to racing in Sarno, Italy, the first weekend of June.

Following a busy spring, the Sauber Academy drivers will continue racing throughout June, as their respective campaigns reach their busiest stints.


Rate this article:
No rating
Comments (0)Number of views (224)