With a magnificent pole position, Ugo De Wilde confirmed his speed and talent on the Paul Ricard circuit by winning Race 1. The Belgian led from start to finish, despite the pressure exerted in the second part of the race by Théo Pourchaire and Adam Eteki in full pursuit. Although Caio Collet has already won the FIA French F4 Championship crown, the final fight for the vice-champion title has well and truly begun between the young hopefuls of the FFSA Academy.
A little disappointed by his trip to Jerez, Spain, the Belgian Ugo De Wilde was quick to find his way back to success. “I was already among the fastest in Friday’s Free Practice,” said Ugo. “I worked hard to prepare for the Qualifying session where I had a very good feeling in the car. I was able to find clear laps and achieve pole positions for both Race 1 and Sunday’s Race 3.”
Pourchaire and Eteki put the pressure on
At the start of Race 1, Ugo De Wilde kept his advantage and finished the first lap in front of Théo Pourchaire and Adam Eteki. An excellent 6th on the grid for his debut in F4, Gillian Henrion lost valuable places in the first metres, as did Theo Nouet.
The overtaking was mainly at the back of the pack in the first part of the race, but second half was very lively, especially between the top drivers. “In my mirrors, I saw Théo Pourchaire and Adam Eteki close to me, after I managed to create a small gap in the first laps. I focused on not making mistakes, trying to push even harder not to be overtaken from the slipstream in a straight line.”
Intensity at the end of the race
Finally, it was Pourchaire who was surprised by Eteki, giving a little space to De Wilde. In a final burst, Théo Pourchaire recovered his place on the last lap, while ensuring another victory in Junior. Very fast, as evidenced by his fastest lap of the race, Adam Eteki could not help thinking that the win was near.
Behind the two Frenchmen, the new French Champion Caio Collet ensured his share of the show, moving up from 7th to 4th place. The Brazilian achieved two fine passes on Alessandro Ghiretti and Ulysse De Pauw, respectively ranked 5th and 6th at the finish. Esteban Muth, Reshad De Gerus and Matéo Herrero finished in the following places.
While Pierre-Louis Chovet regretted the events of the last lap that dropped him down from 8th to 11th position, Theo Nouet pulled out the last place of the top 10, which meant pole position for Race 2 on Sunday morning.
Schedule for Sunday, 14th October :
10:45 am: Race 2
4:35 pm: Race 3