Hugh Barter fended off fellow single-seater debutant Maceo Capietto to win the third and final race of the French Formula 4 curtain-raiser at the Easter Cup at Nogaro.
Both took advantage when race one winner and polesitter Esteban Masson stalled at the start, with second-place starter Barter taking the lead.
Then, as third-place starter Owen Tangavelou went to move around Masson, contact was made with Daniel Ligier that ultimately forced both into retirement.
Barter and Capietto rapidly pulled away from the rest of the pack, never separated by more than seven tenths of a second.
Fastest laps in the middle of the race from Capietto – who missed the first race of the weekend when his clutch failed on the formation lap – brought him to within half a second of Barter, where he remained for five laps unable to launch an attack.
Lock-ups from Capietto at Turn 4 and the Turn 7 hairpin with two laps to go then gave Barter a break, with the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy shootout winner claiming victory by 0.742s.
Masson ended the first lap in ninth place but fought his way back through to the podium, finishing 15 seconds behind the winner after overtaking Aiden Neate for third with seven minutes left on the clock.
Neate continued his consistent debut weekend with another junior classification win in fourth, never really challenged by fifth-placed Gael Julien. After losing ground at the start, Dario Cabanelas put a move on race two winner Thanapongpan Sutumno to take sixth.
There was contact on the last lap in the fight for eighth between Alessandro Giusti and Pierre-Alexandre Provost that sent the latter crashing into the wall.
Race results (15 laps)
|14||Pierre-Alexandre Provost||+1 lap|
|Fastest lap: Capietto, 1m28.820s