The drivers of the FFSA Academy French F4 Championship did not have an easy task on the streets of Pau during the Qualifying session. The 19 drivers started on wet tyres on a wet track, which dried over the course of the laps. Stuart White found the right moment to set the two fastest laps of the session and the South African will start on pole position of Race 1 on Saturday morning and Race 3 on Sunday. Reshad De Gerus, Enzo Valente and Hadrien David were his main opponents.
This second of the seven rounds of the French F4 Championship was a long-awaited and feared event because of the particular characteristics of Pau’s street layout. Rain fell shortly before the Qualifying session and incidents that led to red flags further complicated the task of the Academicians. Over the course of the laps, the hierarchy constantly changed and it was not until the end of the session that we knew the final verdict…
Great emotion for Stuart White
2nd in the Free Practice session, two tenths from the leader of the Championship Hadrien David, Stuart White released his best game in Qualifying. The South African had the advantage of knowing the track unlike all his opponents, with the exception of Reshad De Gerus, another repeater. “Like last year, I felt comfortable between the railings,” commented Stuart. “It’s always a bit special to race in Pau and I’m really happy to have achieved the two fastest times. The Academy did a great job and I take this opportunity to thank all those who help me. I attacked very hard to reach this performance level. Unfortunately, I exceeded the limits a little at the end of the session and I hit the rail. I’m sorry for the mechanics who will have to work hard to fix the car for the Saturday morning race.”
Traffic and interruptions to manage!
With a very small gap of 14 thousandths on the poleman, Reshad De Gerus could congratulate himself for his performance. “The red flag came out twice at the beginning of the session,” said the Reunion driver. “It was not easy to find the right pace in these conditions and I had to wait until my very last lap to finish 2nd behind Stuart. On the other hand, my second fastest time was not so good and I will start 4th on Sunday.”
“Pau is a great track, it’s fabulous to have the chance to race here,” confirmed Enzo Valente. “However, the wet conditions were still complicated to negotiate on this very narrow circuit, where you cannot make a mistake and where good management of the traffic is essential. I managed to take the lead during the session, but I have to be satisfied with this result, which allow me to start 3rd twice this weekend.”
Long in the lead, Hadrien David also regretted the traffic and interruptions of session. “Unfortunately, I was held up by other drivers at the end of Qualifying, when the weather was really improving and the track drying. I had also started an excellent lap when an final red flag stopped me in my tracks. I had long held the fastest time, so it’s a pity to settle for 4th place, but the weekend is still long. The weather will also be important.” His second fastest time will allow him to start Sunday on the first outside line.
Jules Mettetal and Evan Spenle took 5th and 6th place respectively and these same positions in reverse order for the start of Sunday’s race. More dynamic than at Nogaro, the Danes Valdemar Eriksen and Mikkel Grundtvig joined the top 10, while Isack Hadjar was fastest of the Juniors against Victor Bernier.
Schedule of the Weekend :
Saturday 18th May: Race 1 (09:39) and Race 2 (17:25)
Sunday 19th May: Race 3 (11:08)