The South African anthem echoed around the Spa Francorchamps Belgian podium for the third race of the FFSA Academy F4 meeting. After delivering superb duels during the first part of the competition, Stuart White finally took the lead with authority to win against Caio Collet, still the leader of the French Championship. Pierre-Louis Chovet completed the podium ahead of Theo Pourchaire, the top Junior.
Therefore the seventh different winner climbed to the first step of the podium at Spa. Rarely has the French F4 Championship been so open and undecided. On Sunday, Race 3 saw Arthur Leclerc get off to a great start against poleman Caio Collet, but it was the Brazilian in the lead on the first lap. For his part, Stuart White overtook Ulysse De Pauw and Théo Pourchaire, while Pierre-Louis Chovet won a place to take 5th position. Going off at entry to the famous steep Eau Rouge, Baptiste Berthelot caused the safety car to come out.
Deliverance for Stuart White
At the restart, White was still strong and passed Leclerc. The South African then attacked Collet, who could not resist for long. White confirmed his competitiveness by achieving the fastest lap in the race and picking up his first win of the season. “My start to the season didn’t really meet my expectations, which were high for my second year in the discipline. I had various problems that prevented me from getting on the podium. This time, I think I completed a perfect race. This win makes me very happy, it has happened at the right time,” commented Stuart enthusiastically. 2nd by less than a second, his Brazilian rival had the satisfaction of maintaining his leading position in the French Championship. “Of course I was hoping to win. But after I retired Saturday in Race 1, I needed to score a lot of points,” said Caio Collet.
Another podium for Chovet
Already 2nd the day before, Pierre-Louis Chovet gave himself a second podium in Belgium. “For me, it’s a great weekend, with good overtaking after a difficult Qualifying session in the rain. In Race 3, I was hoping to go back to the lead duo, but my aero setting was not optimal and I experienced too much tyre degradation to aim for a better spot.”
In Chovet’s wake, five drivers kept pace and finished together under the chequered flag from 4th to 8th place: Théo Pourchaire, again the top Junior, Arthur Leclerc, Ulysse De Pauw, Ugo De Wilde and Adam Eteki. Esteban Muth had a good finish, moving up to 9th ahead of Theo Nouet who resisted the return of two Juniors, O’Neill Muth and Reshad De Gerus.
National Technical Director, Christophe Lollier, drew a very positive assessment of this Belgian meeting… “This event was marked by superb duels and some racing incidents, which allows the provisional classification of the Championship to close up in a very interesting way. We can expect races with many challenges in July at Dijon and strong commitment from the drivers. The level and homogeneity of the field are confirmed at each meeting. We must congratulate Arthur Leclerc for his first pole position, as well as Ulysse De Pauw, Stuart White and Théo Pourchaire for their first win this season. These are four drivers of different nationalities, demonstrating the very international side of our F4 Championship. Theo’s success shows that a Junior can win! Congratulations to Pierre-Louis Chovet for his two podiums. He is a talent we had identified at the FFSA Academy French Junior Karting Championship, where he won the title last year.