Home Formula 4French F4 Elpitiya takes reverse-grid victory in second Le Mans race

Elpitiya takes reverse-grid victory in second Le Mans race

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: Dominique Breugnot / eamdbc-pictures.com / FFSA

Photo: Dominique Breugnot / eamdbc-pictures.com / FFSA

Bryan Elpitiya emerged victorious in the reverse-grid race of the French F4 opening round at Le Mans.

Elpitiya, who started the race from pole after finishing tenth on his debut, held on to the lead off the line, keeping fellow front row starter Reuben Kressner at bay.

After withstanding pressure early on, Elpitiya was given a break when Kressner came under pressure from pre-season favourite Felix Hirsiger.

The Swedish rookie defended well, allowing Paul Hokfelt to catch up to Hirsiger. The three of them traded places multiple times in the course of several laps, allowing Elpitiya to build up a very solid gap in the lead.

While Hirsiger and Hokfelt both eventually found their way past Kressner, the two of them would not manage to challenge for the race win, as Elpitiya proved to be out of reach.

And, while Hirsiger actually managed to close in on the race winner, Hokfelt soon found himself under immense pressure from race one winner Joseph Mawson.

As such, it was Elpitiya who took his first single-seater win in just his second race, with Hirsiger settling for second. Mawson managed to grab third when Hokfelt briefly ran wide, with the London-born Swiss man ending up in fourth.

Lotus junior Dorian Boccolacci was fifth, leading compatriot Valentin Hasse-Clot, who charged his way through from 13th on the grid.

Kressner recovered to seventh after a mid-race slump, with Simo Laaksonen in eighth. Russian duo of Vladimir Atoev and Denis Bulatov rounded out the top ten.

After two races, Mawson leads the championship with 42 points, ahead of Hirsiger at 28 and Elpitiya at 26.

Race result
Pos. Driver Time/Gap
1 Bryan Elpitiya 12 laps in 20:48.347
2 Felix Hirsiger +2.486
3 Joseph Mawson +5.520
4 Paul Hokfelt +6.292
5 Dorian Boccolacci +14.533
6 Valentin Hasse-Clot +15.198
7 Reuben Kressner +15.495
8 Simo Laaksonen +16.680
9 Vladimir Atoev +17.093
10 Denis Bulatov +19.493
11 Niclas Nylund +19.944
12 Gjergj Haxhiu +21.249
13 David Droux +21.810
14 Juan Manuel Jimenez +22.165
15 Axel Matus +30.139
16 Amaury Richard +35.419
17 Tom Soubiron +36.895
18 Joao Carvalho +37.349
19 Hugo Sugnot-Darniche +55.422
20 Anouck Abadie +1:42.688
21 Erwan Jule +1 lap
22 Lasse Sorensen +2 laps
Not classified
Valentin Moineault +12 laps