Home Featured Barter holds off Arao to win first French F4 race of 2022 at Nogaro

Barter holds off Arao to win first French F4 race of 2022 at Nogaro

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Roger Gascoigne

Hugh Barter got his sophomore French Formula 4 season off to a perfect start with a lights-to-flag victory in the opening race at Nogaro.

However, he had to hold off a strong challenge from Red Bull/Honda junior Souta Arao, making his series debut.

Barter made the perfect start from pole position to take the lead into the first corner from fellow front row starter Arao, with Elliott Vayron moving past Pierre-Alexandre Provost to take third.

Arao was one of two drivers, alongside Enzo Geraci, to opt to fit the two new tyres available to them for the first race and was quickly onto the tail of Barter as the pair pulled away from their pursuers.

Arao was able to carry more speed through the right-hander onto the kilometre-long back straight to mount a couple of attacks on Barter into the following hairpin. Barter was resolute in defence and the Japanese was unable to find a way past on the narrow track.

After six laps, the performance of Arao’s new tyres began to drop off, allowing Barter to pull out a comfortable lead which he held to the flag, coming home 1.9 seconds ahead of his rival.

Vayron headed the following group, although behind the top two the race ran without any meaningful battles for position. He was followed home by Provost and Geraci, who also used his new tyres to gain a position, passing Alessandro Giusti on the first lap.

The second Red Bull/Honda junior, Yuto Nomura, had a lonely race in seventh after an excellent start helped him jump two places. Enzo Peugeot, Lorens Lecertua and Edgar Pierre completed the top 10.

Even the organisers’ mistake in flying the New Zealand flag in his honour on the podium could not dampen Barter’s elation at starting his French campaign with a win.

Race results (15 laps)
Pos Driver Time
1 Hugh Barter 22m37.077s
2 Souta Arao +1.900s
3 Elliott Vayron +2.596s
4 Pierre-Alexandre Provost +3.065s
5 Enzo Geraci +3.444s
6 Alessandro Giusti +5.126s
7 Yuto Nomura +8.063s
8 Enzo Peugeot +10.616s
9 Lorens Lecertua +11.133s
10 Edgar Pierre +11.940s
11 Dario Cabanelas +12.322s
12 Romain Andriolo +16.850s
13 Max Reis +17.610s
14 Louis Pelet +18.420s
15 Jeronimo Berrio +19.356s
16 Leny Reveillere +20.463s
17 Enzo Richer +21.506s
18 Pablo Sarrazin +22.237s
19 Mateo Villagomez +22.985s
20 Valentino Mini +23.267s
21 Pol Lopez +29.466s
22 Amir Sayed +30.912s
23 Luciano Morano +43.842s
24 Antoine Fernande +45.149s
Fastest lap: Arao, 1m28.685s