- Eric Gené concludes his debut weekend in the TCR Spain in Jerez with a pole position and second and third positions in the race.
- The changing conditions between dry and wet complicate the debut in single-seaters of the young Lenny Ried and Tim Gerhards, who together with the Spanish team have a positive debut in the F4 Winter Series.
- “ We are very happy to have Gené on the team, because he is a very hard worker and accelerates everyone’s progression. We will continue working hard to fight for the title in Valencia ,” says Jaime Serrano, CEO of Monlau Motorsport.
- “ We have experienced a weekend with very difficult conditions for drivers with so few kilometers of testing, but we closed it with many learnings and showing positive evolution ,” adds David Simón, Team Manager of Monlau Motul Technical School.
Monlau Motul Technical School returned last weekend to competitive activity at the Ángel Nieto de Jerez circuit on the occasion of the Formula 4 Winter Series and the TCR Spain preseason, where it attended three debutants in their respective disciplines: Lenny Ried and Tim Gerhards, in F4, and Eric Gené, in TCR. In a meeting marked by changing weather conditions, Gené showed great adaptation to the new discipline, stringing together a pole position and two magnificent races on the podium. Regarding the single-seaters, Gerhards left the Cadiz track with a best result of 21st place and Ried with a 25th place.
The weather forecast predicted a challenging opening weekend of the 2024 season for Monlau Motul Technical School, which combined the TCR Spain preseason with the Spanish Formula 4 Winter Series in Jerez. The Spanish team’s team of mechanics and engineers attended the event full of motivation to provide the best assistance to three drivers who were taking their first steps in their respective categories: Eric Gené moved from F4 to bodywork vehicles with the help of Monlau Motul and CUPRA, and Tim Gerhards and Lenny Ried experienced their debut in a single-seater on the Andalusian track after successful careers in karting.
Gené, advised at all times by his father and coach, the motorsports legend Jordi Gené, demonstrated great speed and consistency at the wheel of the CUPRA Leon Competition from the first test. The Catalan captured these feelings in the qualifying session, held in dry-wet conditions, which began with a sixth place in Q1 (1:56.498) but which later turned around in a fantastic Q2 lap (1:53.019) that He took pole position.
The first of the races, held that same Saturday with a duration of 25 minutes plus one lap, featured Eric Gené and the experienced Nacho Montenegro, current TCR South America champion. On the track, the difference in experience between the two was hardly noticeable, as they crossed the finish line separated by 1.4”, with Montenegro preceding Gené. The next day, on a flooded track, the Sabadell native made an exceptional comeback from eighth starting position, crossing the finish line in a phenomenal third place.
First steps in Spanish F4
The F4 Winter Series, a preparatory event for the regular season of Spanish Formula 4, was a reflection of the regular season: with a perfect mix between debutants and drivers with previous experience. The Dutch Tim Gerhards, 16 years old, experienced an evolution from less to more in free practice, managing to rise in Q1 to 15th place on the grid (1:46.869). The German Lenny Ried had more problems, who did not get a clean lap and had to settle for 31st place (1:48.073). The first race, held a few hours later on dry asphalt with a duration of 30 minutes plus one lap (same as the two remaining events of the weekend), was full of “first times” for the two Monlau Motul drivers, who crossed the checkered flag in 25th (Ried) and 32nd (Gerhards) positions. The young Dutchman had a great start, but had contact when he was running 12th and was forced to stop in the pits to change the front of the car, which caused him to drop 20 positions.
Sunday dawned with a forecast of 100% rain, which gave the two Monlau Motul drivers a first lesson in driving the Tatuus-Abarth on water. In Q2, Gerhards clocked 21st and Ried 31st, given the difficulty of managing traffic and the asphalt conditions themselves. The second race of the weekend proved to be the most difficult for both of them, with the German finishing in 27th place and his Dutch teammate out of the race. The weekend closed with a final round, again on a wet track, in which Gerhards achieved his best result of the meeting (21st place) and Ried 26th.
David Simón , Team Manager of Monlau Motul, valued the evolution of the debutants in F4: “ We have experienced a weekend with very difficult conditions for drivers with so few kilometers of testing. As a team, both mechanics and engineers have done a great job, which, together with the desire to learn from Lenny Ried and Tim Gerhards, allows us to close the meeting with many learnings for everyone and a positive evolution. It is true that we are below the positions we want to reach, but we are excited to see the boys continue learning and making the team grow to reach the points zone as soon as possible .”
Jaime Serrano , CEO of Monlau Motorsport, elaborated on Eric Gené’s meeting: “His first TCR weekend has been very good. He has adapted very quickly to CUPRA, as evidenced by his pole position on Saturday and the beautiful fights he had in the first race. On Sunday, with so much water on the track, it was difficult, especially in a fast corner, but Eric did his best to finish on the podium. We are very happy to have him on the team, because he is a very hard worker, which helps accelerate everyone’s progression. I would also like to thank CUPRA for the support and the great work of all the staff. We will continue working to fight for the title in Valencia .”
The next event of the Winter Series and the TCR Spain will arrive next weekend at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in the Valencian Community.