On the long stretch of 4411 metres of Magny-Cours, which hosted the French Grand Prix of F1 for many years, the Brazilian Caio Collet created a gap of nearly four tenths to the Belgian Ugo De Wilde during the Qualifying session. The leader in the provisional classification of the FFSA French F4 Academy Championship had already warned his rivals of his great ambitions in the Nièvre. Once again the best of the Junior drivers, the Frenchman Theo Pourchaire set an impressive time ahead of the Belgian Ulysse De Pauw.
Already setting the fastest lap of the morning’s free practice, Caio Collet confirmed his full potential by going for pole position in the final seconds of a very lively Qualifying session. Indeed, following an engine cut-out, Theo Pourchaire had to stop on the straight, forcing the Race Director to interrupt the session. Managing the “restart” perfectly, Collet was then the fastest. He will start on pole position for Saturday morning’s Race 1, and also for Sunday’s Race 3, with the grid based on the second fastest time for each driver.
Pourchaire and De Wilde stopped in their tracks
The red flag that intervened in the middle of the session obviously had an influence on the classification. Théo Pourchaire was in pole position before his problem, before seeing Caio Collet and Ugo De Wilde go ahead of him by a few tenths. The latter had found a steady pace before the interruption, then dropped into the traffic behind slower rivals. We can expect intense races between these three drivers during the weekend. Well ranked in the provisional classification of the French F4 Championship, the Belgian Ulysses De Pauw and the Frenchman Adam Eteki expected better from this Qualifying, but will have a good card to play, starting respectively from 4th and 5th places in the first race as well as in the third. Bear in mind that the classification of Race 1 will give the starting grid of Race 2, but in reverse order for the top 10. De Pauw showed great consistency during his last run, while Eteki was in a rush, regretting that he had not had one or two extra laps available to improve his position.
De Gerus sandwiched between the Muth brothers
Very close to Eteki on the stopwatch, the Germans Esteban and O’Neill Muth achieved the 6th and 8th times. The second best Junior of the day, Reunion driver Reshad De Gerus was able to position himself in 7th place, the last two places of the top going to 10 returning to the Frenchman Sacha Lehmann and Monegasque Arthur Leclerc. There was disappointment on the other hand for Theo Nouet, very fast in the morning, but a victim of a technical problem during the session.
Weekend Schedule :
Race 1: Saturday, September 8th at 9:55 am
Race 2: Saturday, September 8th at 2:20 pm
Race 3: Sunday September 9th at 10:55 am