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"Plenty of hardwork and analysis" says Joshua Dürksen, after AIX qualifying success at Austria

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

AIX Racing have been one of the surprise packages emerging from the 2024 Formula 2 season so far, with Taylor Barnard taking the team's first win, upon the team's renaming into AIX Racing at Monaco, while Joshua Dürksen took a stellar podium at Imola, his only points in 2024 so far.

Born from the remnants of the erstwhile Charouz Racing System, PHM Racing came into existence in 2023, taking over the assets of the French constructor. Heading into their inaugural season, the team placed their faith in the hands of veteran Roy Nissany and rookie Brad Benavides.

While there was plenty of learning, the German team would fail to score in 2023, as they slowly gained experience as a result of racing and understanding how the series works. Benavides would be replaced by Euroformula Open racer Joshua Mason towards the end of the season, as the Briton made two appearances at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.

Heading into their second season, the German manufacturer rung in the changes, both on and off the track. They fielded an all-new line-up, promoting Paraguayan racer Joshua Dürksen from the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA), a significant leap for the youngster, while Taylor Barnard's excellent showing for Jenzer Motorsport saw him promoted to Formula 2 with the German team.

The Briton had first raced for the team back in 2022, and seeing his excellent Formula 3 season, have provided him the opportunity to shine in Formula 2.

Investment firm AIX Racing too provided sponsorship to the team ahead of this season, before assuming full ownership ahead of the Monaco weekend of feeder series.

It was this spell of two races when the team scored their first-ever points too — and in fine fashion. Dürksen became the first Paraguayan racer to stand on a Formula 2 podium when he finished third at Imola, having started an excellent fifth for the feature race.

Only a race later, the team arrived at the Crown Jewel on the calendar — Monaco, renamed once again to AIX Racing, with the investment firm taking full ownership of the team.

Barnard would ensure the rebranded team's first race would be written in the stars — as he kept his cool and fended off a charging Invicta of Gabriel Bortoleto to take his first victory in the series, as well as the team's first.

To date, these points remain the team's only points all season, and there's no doubt they will be looking to add to their tally this season. While Dürksen would once again qualify in the top ten at Barcelona, his race would come to a cruel end, the AIX driver's engine giving up when he was in the lead.

Such a cruel blow can often hang over the driver's minds as they make their way onto the next weekend, but Dürksen believes this is an ability every racing driver possesses, to put such debacles behind and shift their focus onto the next weekend.

"To be honest, no, not really" the AIX driver responded, when asked about previous performances playing on his mind during the race weekend.

"I believe this is an ability all drivers learn pretty well, something that happened, you have to go check, focus on the next one, because you don't have time to think about what happened last time"

He would also echo on Bortoleto's reply earlier on the topic. "To be honest, it doesn't really affect me. Like Gabriel (Bortoleto) said, you're fully focused on the next weekend. "

Both Dürksen and Barnard put in stellar flying laps in qualifying earlier in the day, finishing the half-hour session second and sixth respectively. Dürksen believes this is due to the hardwork and analysis done by the team who watch back the races to improve their performances.

"It's not a secret, it's a lot of hardwork" implies Dürksen, speaking of the team's efforts to dissect shortcomings and learn from them.

"Just a lot of work on the sim (simulator), analysing the races at home, everything that has happened (here) in the past years. The team is also doing their best, in order to improve the car, to know (the car) as well as possible, and how it has to be driven."

"It's not a secret, it's just hardwork, commitments, and the results should pay off," implies Dürksen, looking towards the efforts put in by the team finally resulting in a successful showing.

The Paraguayan would definitely be eyeing a successful showing at the Red Bull Ring this weekend, starting on the front row alongside pole-sitter Dennis Hauger, as he eyes another first for the team this weekend — this time their first feature race win.

Dürksen starts second for the feature race on Sunday, while his teammate Barnard starts two rows back in sixth. Can they convert their starts into an excellent result, and also bring home the team's first double-points finish? Tune in to the feature race on Sunday to find out.


10 hours ago

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