Joshua Dufek opened his 2023 Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA) account at Imola over the weekend, but was denied a bigger haul of points by an incident in race two of the season's first double-header.
The Van Amersfoort Racing driver made progress throughout the three-day meeting in Italy, culminating in a second row start for race two and a getaway that suggested he would be in contention for a podium finish. However, a first lap tangle that put the #13 car into instant retirement quickly ended any ambition of silverware.
After a low-key build-up during pre-season testing, Josh showed his potential pace by cycling through the competitive times in both official practice and opening qualifying, only lining up on row five for race one after being held up on his final flying lap. He then produced his best run of the weekend on the final morning to challenge for race two pole position before accepting second in his qualifying group and fourth on the overall grid.
The two qualifying sessions sandwiched the opening round of the season late on Saturday afternoon, where the Swiss youngster made up positions to put points on the board after an opportunistic move for eighth place in an otherwise quiet half hour of racing. While happy to have scored on his seasonal debut, however, the misfortune of race two still rankled with the VAR driver.
"All in all, there isn’t much to say," Josh reflected. "The pace was there all weekend, but I was unable to deliver a representative lap time in Q1, which both compromised my starting position and made it difficult to make up positions in the first race. Then, although I had a pretty good second qualifying session, it was all for nothing in the following race as I got squeezed off while making a move at Turn 3, which resulted in a crash. All in all, a frustrating end to what could have been a very good opening weekend."
Round two of the 2023 Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine takes place at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona, over the weekend of 19-21 May.