Hugh Barter took his fifth win of the season in Race 3, confirming that he has been the strong man of the start of the season. Elliott Vayron and Alessandro Giusti scored important points in this FIA French F4 Championship by taking the podium.
With three events contested in the space of five weeks, the drivers involved with the FFSA Academy have experienced an intense start to the season, before a break of several weeks which will see them continue their programme at Spa Francorchamps as a curtain raiser to the prestigious 24 Hours. For the moment, Australian driver Hugh Barter has made his mark on the first three meetings. He continues to extend his lead in the Championship standings, especially as his main rival suffered an incident at the start of Race 3.
Souta and Provost eliminated from the start
At the start of the race, Souta Arao was unfortunately stuck on the starting grid, even though he was starting in 3rd position. Pierre-Alexandre Provost touched the Japanese driver’s car slightly when trying to avoid him and spun. The safety car returned to the track while the track was being cleaned. During the neutralisation, a second incident occurred between Pablo Sarrazin who collided with Yuto Nomura, leading to the retirement of both drivers. The two Japanese drivers in the Red Bull colours were decidedly unsuccessful on this sunny Sunday.
At the green flag, Hugh Barter resumed his advance, while Alessandro Giusti surprised Elliott Vayron for 2nd place. But the latter replied a few corners later to take back his good fortune. Behind the Belgian Lorens Lecertua and the Colombian Jeronimo Berrio, solidly installed in 4th and 5th places, another duel began between Louis Pelet, the Swiss driver Dario Cabanelas, Edgar Pierre and Enzo Peugeot. Pelet, who was in trouble slightly, could not hold off his three rivals and fell to 9th position. Pierre, who was getting faster in each race, gained one more place to reach 6th place at the expense of Cabanelas, while Romain Andriolo also overtook Pelet.
The fastest lap as a bonus for Barter
Until the chequered flag, Barter dominated Race 3, showing great satisfaction as he stepped off the podium. “With the exception of the crash in Race 2, where I was hoping to get back into the top five and increase my points tally, it was another great weekend,” said the Australian. “The double pole position on Friday put me in the best possible position for Races 1 and 3, which I was able to win quite easily, extending my lead over the field each time. I also took the fastest lap point in Race 3 and this shows that I was able to manage my tyres perfectly and stay fast until the end of the meeting. Of course, the outcome of the Championship remains uncertain, as I will not be able to score points in July at Spa Francorchamps and in Valencia in September due to my parallel commitment in another F4 series. However, I will remain determined to fight for the title until the end.”
In 2nd place in Race 3, Elliott Vayron saw Alessandro Giusti come dangerously close at the end of the race, but Vayron was in control until the end. Lecertua crashed out with a few laps to go, leaving Berrio in 4th place. Other drivers climbed up a place, with Pierre taking a remarkable 5th place ahead of Cabanelas, who was very visible in the Nièvre, the consistent Enzo Peugeot and Andriolo, the recent winner in the streets of Pau. On the track, Pelet resisted Lecertua, before being penalised 30 seconds by the stewards. Lecertua took 9th place ahead of Ecuadorian Mateo Villagomez. The top 15 was completed by German driver Max Reis, Panamanian Valentino Mini, Frenchman Luciano Morano, Antoine Fernande, also French, and Indian driver Amir Sayed.
In the Championship, Hugh Barter extended his lead to 67 points, while Souta Arao, Alessandro Giusti and Elliott Vayron are now only 10 points behind the Australian.
> Race 3 standings
1 Hugh Barter (Australia) with 12 laps
2 Elliott Vayron (France) at 4″408
3 Alessandro Giusti (France) at 5″021
4 Jeronimo Berrio (Colombia) at 12″322
5 Edgar Pierre (France) at 14″782
6 Dario Cabanelas (Switzerland) at 16″298
7 Enzo Peugeot (France) at 17″472
8 Romain Andriolo (France) at 18″544
9 Lorens Lecertua (Belgium) at 19″659
10 Mateo Villagomez (Ecuador) at 19″943
11 Max Reis (Germany) at 22″228
12 Valentino Mini (Panama) at 31″379
13 Luciano Morano (France) at 33″124
14 Antoine Fernande (France) at 34″451
15 Amir Sayed (India) at 39″159
16 Louis Pelet (France) at 49″455
17 Pol Lopez Gutierrez (Andorra) at 58″082
18 Enzo Richer (France) at 58″752
19 Leny Réveillère (France) at 3 laps
20 Enzo Geraci (France) at 8 laps
21 Pablo Sarrazin (France) at 9 laps
22 Yuto Nomura (Japan) at 9 laps
23 Souta Arao (Japan)
24 Pierre-Alexandre Provost (France)
Fastest lap: Hugh Barter (AUS) in 1’41″293
> French F4 FIA Championship (provisional after Magny-Cours)
1 Barter (AUS) 161 pts, 2 Arao (JAP) 94 pts, 3 Giusti (FRA) 92 pts, 4 Vayron (FRA) 84 pts, 5 Provost (FRA) 49 pts, 6 Peugeot (FRA) pts, 7 Berrio (COL) pts, 8 Cabanelas (SUI) pts, 9 Nomura (JAP) pts, 10 Geraci (FRA) pts, 11 Lecertua (BEL) pts, 12 Pierre (FRA) pts, 13 Andriolo (FRA) pts, 14 Reis (GER) 16 pts, 15 Sarrazin (FRA) 6 pts, 16 Pelet (FRA) 6 pts, 17 Mini (PAN) 2 pts, 18 Villagomez (ECU) 1 pt