The collision between Enzo Peugeot and Evan Giltaire a few metres from the finish line was a happy ending for Romain Andriolo, who won Race 3 at Magny-Cours after holding off Canadian Kevin Foster and Japanese Hiyu Yamakoshi.
Only two events have taken place, at Nogaro and Magny-Cours, but the initial trend is indicative of an extremely open 2023 French F4 Championship. Out of the six races already run, the FFSA Academy has had no less than five different winners. In the overall ranking, the gaps between the candidates for the title are very small. It must be said that a lot happened at Magny-Cours from 5th to 7th May. After the victories of Evan Giltaire and Adrien Closmenil on Saturday, Race 3 brought its share of surprises…
Race 3: Andriolo holds off Foster and Yamakoshi
Rain fell during the night in the Nièvre region, but not enough to prevent the track from offering almost dry lines and the drivers from keeping their slick tyres, as on Friday and Saturday. At the start, the scenario of Race 1 was repeated, with Enzo Peugeot quicker to take off against poleman Evan Giltaire. Romain Andriolo immediately followed the leaders with Japanese Hiyu Yamakoshi and Kevin Foster in pursuit. Some incidents at the back of the field forced the race director to send the safety car on track during the first laps. On the restart, Foster passed Yamakoshi, while Enzo Richer took the opportunity to get closer to this duo, taking the German Max Reis with him, this time on the pace after a difficult Saturday, and Adrien Closmenil.
At the front, the gap between Peugeot and Giltaire and the chasing group was growing. Everything was decided in the last two laps. After a long battle with Peugeot, Giltaire found an opening on the braking point for Adelaide. But a lap later, Enzo gave Evan a run for his money in the same corner. The two cars n°74 and n°95 remained neck and neck until the end, before a contact between the two young hopefuls completely changed the hierarchy. Enzo Peugeot found himself ahead and only crossed the finish line in 5th position, while Evan Giltaire was given a 30-second penalty and plunged down the order.
Romain Andriolo was delighted to take the top step of the podium and take the second victory of his F4 career after his success in the streets of Pau in 2022, thanks to a solid performance that enabled him to keep Kevin Foster and Hiyu Yamakoshi behind him. Foster took the opportunity to move back to within nine points of the leader Giltaire in the Championship, while Yamakoshi celebrated his first top three since joining the FFSA Academy.
Disappointed by his performance the previous day, Enzo Richer found a place more in line with his ambitions in 4th position. While he was only 10th at the halfway point, Belgian Yani Stevenheydens finished in style by coming back to 6th ahead of German Finn Wiebelhaus, Spaniard Pol Lopez, Adrien Closmenil and Paul Alberto, who scored a promising first point. German Max Reis lost his 6th place due to a penalty.
The next round of the French F4 Championship will take place from 12th to 14th May at the famous and prestigious Grand Prix de Pau in the heart of the city.
> Ranking of Race 3
1 Romain Andriolo (France) with 12 laps
2 Kevin Foster (Canada) at 0.684
3 Hiyu Yamakoshi (Japan) at 1.791
4 Enzo Richer (France) at 4.147
5 Enzo Peugeot (France) at 4.450
6 Yani Stevenheydens (Belgium) at 10.824
7 Finn Wiebelhaus (Germany) at 11.158
8 Pol Lopez (Spain) at 12.663
9 Adrien Closmenil (France) at 13.115
10 Paul Alberto (France) at 16.631
11 Frank Porte Ruiz (Andorra) at 17.003
12 Jason Leung (Canada) at 17.521
13 Tom Kalender (Germany) at 17.838
14 Gabriel Doyle-Parfait (Great Britain) at 18.193
15 Karel Schulz (France) at 27.822
16 Evan Giltaire (France) at 28.448
17 Louis Schlesser (France) at 28.456
18 Luca Savu (Romania) at 34.193
19 Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro (Colombia) at 34.345
10 Max Reis (Germany) at 39.215
21 Leonardo Megna (Italy) at 45.087
22 Andrei Duna (Romania), retired on lap 9
23 Yaroslav Veselaho (Ukraine), retired on lap 9
24 Garrett Berry (United States), retirement on lap 3
25 Edouard Borgna (France), retired in round 2
26 Edgar Pierre (France), retirement on lap 1
FL: Peugeot in 1:40.767 (average speed 157.5 km/h)
> French F4 FIA Championship (provisional after Magny-Cours)
1 Giltaire (FRA) 90 pts, 2 Foster (CDN) 81 pts, 3 Andriolo (FRA) 74 pts, 4 Peugeot (FRA) 67 pts, 5 Lopez (ESP) 46 pts, 6 Yamakoshi (JPN) 42 pts, 7 Richer (FRA) 38 pts, 8 Stevenheydens (BEL) 25 pts, 9 Megna (ITA) 20 pts, 10 Closmenil (FRA) 17 pts, 11 Savu (ROU) and Berry (USA) 8 pts, 13 Wiebelhaus (DEU) 6 pts, 14 Reis (DEU) 4 pts, 15 Schultz (FRA) 2 pts, 16 Pierre (FRA) and Alberto (FRA) 1 pt