Enzo Peugeot made it two victories out of three this weekend in French Formula 4 by winning the 80th edition of the Pau Grand Prix.
After two days of mixed conditions, the grand prix itself started in warm conditions with some cloud cover, and with Kevin Foster on pole ahead of Evan Giltaire, Peugeot and Hiyu Yamakoshi.
Two drivers had to withdraw from the grand prix due to crashes in the second race on Saturday, while Adrien Closmenil failed to take up his 10th place on the grid and was having his engine examined in the pitlane when the start took place.
Foster immediately moved to the inside line when the lights went out to get off the bumps on the outside that he started on, and finished lap one 0.311 seconds ahead of Giltaire. Finn Wiebelhaus picked up damage and had to pit at the end of the lap for repairs.
Yamakoshi set the fastest lap on lap two as a five-car lead train broke away. Foster left the door open at the turn four hairpin on lap three and Giltaire snatched the lead, then moments later the race was put under safety car conditions as Yaroslav Veselaho came to a stop on the hill up to turn three after running in seventh place.
The skies started to darken with the threat of rain, and on lap seven Veselaho’s car had been retrieved and the race was ready to restart when rain finally hit. It caught out Frank Porte-Ruiz who went off at turn two but rejoined, and red flags were then waved moments later so the field could head to the pits and switch from slick to wet tyres.
The rain ceased, but then started falling again and harder during what ended up being a 17-minute stoppage and so the race restarted on lap eight with three laps behind the safety car.
Only going 100 metres out of the pits before retiring was Enzo Richer, who had been in 10th, as a mechanical issue brought him to a halt before even reaching turn two, then Edouard Borgna crashed out at turn nine which extended the safety car period.
Racing resumed on lap 11 on a soaked track, and spray immediately became an issue. Peugeot bravely passed Foster around the outside at the bumpy turn one, then started pressuring Giltaire who almost spun at the turn four hairpin.
He tried passing at the Buisson hairpin but thought better of it and got brilliant traction to go right around Giltaire through turn five next time by.
The safety car was summoned shortly after as Foster spun down the Foch chicane and came to a stop. He eventually got going again but then had another spin and went to the pits with a broken rear wing.
The next restart took place on lap 15 and Peugeot immediately raced away. He built a 2.750s lead in two laps, then on the penultimate lap the race was red flagged as Frank Porte-Ruiz and Joao Paolo Diaz-Balasteiro crased. It meant the results were taken back a lap, and made Peugeot the victor.
Race result (16 laps)
|16||Joao Paolo Diaz-Balasteiro||+27.671s|
|19||Finn Wiebelhaus||+1 lap|
|Fastest lap: Yamakoshi, 1m18.852s