ADAC F4 driver Michelle Halder has experienced one of her best weekends in the series to date with three excellent races at the Nurburgring. Michelle has missed a portion of this season due to injury but the Liqui Moly Team Engstler driver has shown considerable progress since her return, especially in relation to her race pace. Halder’s best result of the weekend was a hard fought 26th in race three where she was involved in a number of close battles. After getting up to speed at the Red Bull Ring two weeks ago, Michelle was determined to maintain her progress at the legendary Nurburgring. Drivers were given three practice sessions on Friday leading up to the weekend which Halder made full use of, running over 45 laps over the course of the day whilst making gains to her lap times. After finishing the opening session in 34th, Michelle ended the final two sessions in 35th; however there was much cause for optimism heading into qualifying on Saturday morning.
Michelle was drawn into group B for qualifying which featured a number of talented drivers including both championship contenders, Joey Mawson and Mick Schumacher. The session started well for Halder as she immediately found her rhythm and was placed 11th in her group after the first wave of flying laps. Halder continued to improve her times throughout the session and despite ending the session 18th in her group, Michelle found over half a second of improvement over her best time in Friday’s free practice sessions.
Race one began on Saturday afternoon with Michelle aiming to move up the field and further improve her lap times. She made an ideal start by gaining four positions on the opening lap to cross the line in 31st, before making up two further positions by the end of lap two. Halder’s teammate Luca Engstler and Jan-Erik Meikup found a way past the young driver by the end of lap eight but she determined to fight back. Taking advantage of an incident ahead of her, Michelle made her way into 28th in the closing stages and was able to hold the position over the 30 minute race to begin her weekend on a high. Halder’s pace in the closing stages was particularly impressive as she continued to make gains on Julian Hanses, almost passing her rival on the final lap.
Sunday morning brought race two of the weekend with Halder starting from 34th courtesy of her second fastest time set in qualifying. Another excellent start saw Michelle climb to 29thafter the first lap, a position she held for the opening five laps when a safety car was deployed. Despite losing a position on the restart to an out of position driver, Michelle’s race pace was once again highly commendable as she challenged the competitors ahead of her. This hard work paid off as Michelle picked up three more positions late on to finish race two in 27th, another fantastic display by the Liqui Moly Team Engstler driver.
Starting the third race from up in 28th, Halder was in the perfect position to claim her best finish of the weekend. Although she was shuffled back to 35th after three laps, Michelle continued to run similar lap times to the cars ahead, capitalising from any mistake made by her rivals. On lap eight a safety car was deployed to recover Toni Wolf’s car, with Halder slowly making her way up the order in 31st. A good restart saw Michelle hold her position before running some excellent lap times which lifted her to 28th by the end of lap 14. Ending the weekend on a high, Halder gained a further two positions in the closing stages to end the third race in 26th, a great effort from Michelle and the team throughout the weekend.