Iron Dames’ rising stars Doriane Pin and Marta Garcia take to the track in the first round of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine this weekend, aiming to fight at the front of the order and showcase their immense talent. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the opening round of the season at the Hockenheimring.

With grids set to surpass 30 cars across 10 of Europe’s most well-recognised circuits, FRECA is among the most competitive junior single-seater championships around. In its current guise, which has been around since 2021, it has established itself as a key step for a driver aiming to make Formula One.

About the cars

The six-speed, 270 horsepower Tatuus T-318 has been around since 2019, and are designed to be a challenge and to continue the progression of understanding downforce and racing wheel-to-wheel with competitors. The cars are also designed with the latest FIA safety features in mind, something which has become universally adopted by the FIA single-seater pathway to the top categories.

Comparing to F4 and F3

The Formula Regional category was designed to be a midway point between F4 and F3 competition, due to the performance differences between those two classes of car. FRECA offers drivers a different kind of experience before stepping into F3 which they otherwise may miss from F4 and is proving crucial on that ladder all the way up to F1.

The calendar

Comprising 10 rounds, the 2024 calendar features some of Europe’s greatest circuits, and provides drivers the opportunity to race on seven current F1 tracks which also regularly feature on the Formula 2 and F3 calendars.

Hockenheimring, 11-12 May
Spa-Francorchamps, 25-26 May
Zandvoort, 8-9 June
Hungaroring, 22-23 June
Mugello, 13-14 July
Paul Ricard, 20-21 July
Imola, 7-8 September
Red Bull Ring, 14-15 September
Barcelona, 28-29 September
Monza, 26-27 October

The format

The weekend follows a straightforward format. There are two 15-minute qualifying sessions and two 30-minute races, usually with the first qualifying and race on the Saturday and the second on the Sunday. Like many other championships, the top 10 are awarded points but there are no bonus points at play. If drivers struggle on the first day, they can rebound on the Sunday to salvage something good from the weekend.

Who has raced in it?

Among the most notable drivers to have raced in the championship is reigning champion Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who has since bypassed F3 entirely to race in F2 in 2024, while last year’s runner-up Martinius Stenshorne is already a winner in F3 against 2022 champion Dino Beganovic and runner-up Gabriele Mini. Paul Aron, who was third in ’22, will make his FIA Formula E World Championship debut this weekend in Berlin. 2021 champion Gregoire Saucy is in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and Iron Lynx – Proton’s Macéo Capietto in the European Le Mans Series, highlighting the diverse paths drivers can follow.

Many of the notable junior single-seater teams race in FRECA. Teams are allowed three cars, with a fourth entry permitted if a female driver is entered, but the Iron Dames will be the only team with an all-female line-up. The top two entries from each team in each race score points for the Teams’ Championship. Racing against the Iron Dames will be names also participating in F2 and F3 including PREMA Racing, Trident, ART Grand Prix, MP Motorsport and Van Amersfoort Racing, with 11 teams confirmed for the season.

The path to F1

FRECA offers a sizeable number of Super Licence points – which are crucial to make it to F1. The champion receives 25, which goes a long way to ensure that a driver can make it to the very top. It also provides the experience, knowledge and the skills required to make the next step, which is often into F3.

Where to watch

You can find all of the races and qualifying sessions live on FRECA’s YouTube channel.


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