The French F4 Championship continues to visit the most beautiful European tracks. On this first weekend of June, the excellent vintage of drivers of the 2018 FFSA Academy have discovered the circuit of Spa Francorchamps, which will host F1 in a few months. In Belgium, they mostly faced a very overcast sky over the Ardennes hills during Free and Qualifying sessions. In these difficult and tricky conditions, Arthur Leclerc stayed focused and determined to get the absolute fastest time, but Caio Collet, the leader of the Championship, was also impressive.
Spa Francorchamps, its legendary circuit, its steep track, its magnificent seven km length and … its weather that knows how to become very average, whatever the season! Driving a single-seater with wet tyres on a slippery track, the French F4 Championship drivers the opportunity to tame it during the first two races in 2018, at Nogaro and Pau. But this time, the amount of water on the track was very significant. Finding the limit of the car on the fast curves of Spa Francorchamps when you are driving this circuit for the first time is never simple.
Leclerc-Collet duel in sight
Although the Belgian Ulysses De Pauw raised the colours of the RACB in his home country during the Free Practice session, Qualifying was between Arthur Leclerc and Caio Collet, both already very fast on the streets of Pau. The Brazilian quickly climbed to the top of the timesheets with 2’55″293. IN the end, this time was insufficient against Arthur Leclerc, who set an excellent lap of 2’54″984, an average of more than 144 km / h despite the precarious grip. The Monegasque managed to find perfect feeling in his Mygale F4-FIA to improve his previous time by more than six tenths. “I’m really happy to take this pole position, which will allow me to start as leader in the first Saturday morning race. I think the weather will still play an important role, but I’m ready to face both a dry and wet track.”
Thanks to a second fastest time almost the same as his first, Caio Collet consoled himself by winning the best place on the starting grid for Race 3 on Sunday. The Winfield winner confirms his talent once again.
The top Junior Pourchaire takes 3rd
Behind them, three drivers swapped position several times. While South Africa’s Stuart White thought he had made the difference against Belgium’s Ulysses De Pauw, Theo Pourchaire improved again to beat his rivals. The Junior Championship driver will start from 3rd place in both Races 1 and 3, once with Stuart at his side, the second with Ulysse!
Adam Eteki and Pierre-Louis Chovet started their Qualifying session cautiously, before gaining ground to 6th and 7th places. Eteki’s session was interrupted shortly after when he went off.
Théo Nouet and Matéo Herrero had interesting top 10 results, as Race 2 will start in reverse order for the top 10 of the previous race. The Belgian Ugo De Wilde, the German Esteban Muth and the Reunion driver Reshad De Gerus (Junior) hoped to continue the positive dynamic of Pau, but they could only rank, in that order, in 11th to 13th places.
Schedule of the three races
Race 1: Saturday, 2nd June at 12:15 pm
Race 2: Saturday, 2nd June at 5:25 pm
Race 3: Sunday 3rd June at 10:35 am