One week after Magny-Cours, the 26 cars of the FIA-certified F4 French Championship will headline the famous Grand Prix de Pau on 12th-14th May 2023, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary! A sporting and popular success is in prospect…
In recent years, F4 has regularly taken to the streets of the city of King Henry IV in an event that uses a fast and spectacular street layout, unchanged since 1935! Operated by the FFSA Academy, the French F4 Championship will have the honour of being the flagship category of the Pau Motors Festival. 26 drivers from 13 different nationalities will try to add their name to the list of winners of this event which has in the past crowned motor sport legends such as Juan-Manuel Fangio in 1949, François Cevert in 1973, Jean Alesi in 1989 and Lewis Hamilton in 2005.
An essential step for young hopefuls dreaming of a career in motor sport, F4 represents the first rung of the pyramid set up by the FIA. Drivers such as Pierre Gasly, Alpine Renault driver in F1, Théo Pourchaire, current leader of FIA F2, Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Van Doorne, both Formula E World Champions, have come from the ranks of the French F4 Championship. Reconciling financial accessibility and sporting equity, this competition offers a unique training and development process. In addition, the Championship is perfectly in line with the desire of the Pau Grand Prix organisers to turn towards the energy transition and future carbon neutrality in transport. From the start of 2023, the single-seaters prepared by the FFSA Academy have been running on a 100% renewable low-carbon biofuel produced by Repsol.
Evan Giltaire arrives in Pau with the leader’s jersey
Two of the seven events of the 2023 French Championship have already been run at Nogaro and Magny-Cours. On each occasion, Evan Giltaire (16) from the Paris region took pole position and won Race 1. He occupies the lead in the provisional ranking, but with a narrow margin against two drivers who also have a victory to their credit: the Canadian Kevin Foster, revealed by the Feed Racing driving scholarship created by the duo Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarié, and the Toulousan Romain Andriolo, winner of one of the three races in Pau last year. With three podiums in his second season in the category (5th in 2022), Enzo Peugeot is also a candidate for the title.
At each meeting, Race 2 gives the top ten finishers from the Qualifying session the opportunity to exchange their grid positions. Spaniard Pol Lopez and Normandy’s Adrien Closmenil took advantage of this opportunity to climb to the top of the podium in turn. Japanese Hiyu Yamakoshi and Frenchman Enzo Richer finished all their races in the top 10 and will also be aiming for victory in the Palois city.
Other drivers are in the starting blocks, such as Louis Schlesser, who came close to a first success in Nogaro, or Yani Stevenheydens, selected by the Belgian federation as part of the “Road to F4 by RACB” operation. The presence of three young Germans supported by the ADAC Formula Junior Team – Max Reis, Finn Wiebelhaus and Tom Kalender – confirms the international influence of the concept set up by the FFSA Academy.
On a track as unique as Pau, making the slightest prediction proves dangerous…
> 2023 F4 Pau programme
Friday 12th May: Free Practice (08:55 – 09:50) and Qualifying Practice (14:40 – 15:25)
Saturday 13th May: Race 1 (10:10 – 10:40) and Race 2 (16:55 – 17:25)
Sunday 14th May: Race 3 (15:25 – 16:00)
Provisional timetable, subject to change during the beginning of the meeting.
> Duration of Races 1 and 2: 20 minutes + 1 lap
> Duration of Race 3 (Grand Prix de Pau): 30 minutes + 1 lap
> Mygale single-seater, Renault turbo engine, Pirelli tyres, 100% renewable Repsol biofuel
> Provisional ranking after Magny-Cours
1 n°95 Evan Giltaire (France) 90 pts
2 n°26 Kevin Foster (Canada) 81 pts
3 n°16 Romain Andriolo (France) 74 pts
4 n°74 Enzo Peugeot (France) 67 pts
5 n°5 Pol Lopez (Spain) 46 pts
6 n°6 Hiyu Yamakoshi (Japan) 42 pts
7 n°66 Enzo Richer (France) 38 pts
8 n°17 Yani Stevenheydens (Belgium) 25 pts
9 n°3 Leonardo Megna (Italy) 20 pt
10 n°14 Adrien Closmenil (France) 17 pts
11 n°37 Luca Savu (Romania) 8 pts
12 n°18 Garrett Berry (USA) 8 pts
13 n°4 Finn Wiebelhaus (Germany) 6 pts
14 n°28 Max Reis (Germany) 4 pts
15 n°9 Karel Schulz (France) 2 pts
16 n°27 Edgar Pierre (France) 1 pt
17 n°7 Paul Alberto (France) 1 pt
18 n°11 Tom Kalender (Germany)
19 n°61 Louis Schlesser (France)
20 n°22 Frank Porte Ruiz (Andorra)
21 n°89 Jason Leung (Canada)
22 n°46 Gabriel Doyle-Parfait (Great Britain)
23 n°77 Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro (Colombia)
24 n°2 Edouard Borgna (France)
25 n°44 Yaroslav Veselaho (Ukraine)
26 n°10 Andrei Duna (Romania)
Follow the event via the ffsaacademy.org website and social networks.