Enzo Peugeot was fastest in free pracice for the Pau Grand Prix, which is part of the third round of the French Formula 4 championship.
The cancellation of Euroformula’s races on the street of Pau meant French F4’s track time was expanded and practice lasted 50 minutes in total. The 26-car field was split into two groups of 13, with drivers in odd-placed championship positions (first, third, fifth etc) in the first group and drivers in even-placed positions in the standings (second, fourth, sixth…) in the second group. Each session lasted 25 minutes.
Championship leader Evan Giltaire was fastest from the off in the first group, setting an early 1m27.931s pace that was beaten by Enzo Richer to the tune of 0.153 seconds. There was then yellow flags at turn two that prevented driver from improving for two minutes before Richer brought the pace down to 1m22.455s.
Romain Andriolo slotted into second ahead of Giltaire, then set a 1m21.059s to go fastest by 0.004s over the points leader.
Gitlaire responded with a 1m20.122s, only for Andriolo to reclaim first place with a 1m19.513s. Next time by Giltaire set a 1m19.371s, but Andriolo could match his pace and set a 1m19.132s as FP1 reached its halfway mark.
In return, Giltaire posted a 1m18.712s and then the lap after cemented his place at the top with a 1m18.654s as Andriolo improved to 1m19.085s.
There was then yellow flags at turn six after Richer hit the barriers, which paused the ding-dong battle to be fastest, and when the track was fully green again Giltaire improved to 1m18.501s to maintain a 0.408s gap to Andriolo.
A very late improvement meant Andriolo slashed the gap to 0.144s, with Pol Lopez third, Richer fourth and Finn Wiebelahus jumping up to fifth after the chequered flag.
Peugeot was near unmatable in the second group, topping the times from the first minute to the last.
Once other drivers had reached a representative pace, it was Adrien Closemnil who was initially his closest rival but several seconds off the pace.
Yani Stevenheydens then moved up to second place, and was 1.558s off Peugeot’s pace before the benchmark man improved by 0.183s and then again by 0.057s. In that time, Stevenheydens managed to crash into the turn seven tyre barriers and come to a stop at turn nine, but not cause the session to be red flagged.
Once the track went green, Peugeot set a 1m18.512s and improved to 1m19.430s with 10 minutes to go to be fastest overall in practice.
Closmenil returned to second place, but then in FP2’s second half it was Kevin Foster who posed the biggest challenge to Peugeot and he lapped 0.296s slower than him to be fourth overall across the two sessions.
Free practice results
|Pos||Driver||Group A||Group B||Gap||Laps|
|17||Frank Porte Ruiz||1m19.741s||+1.311s||16|
|25||Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro||1m26.268s||+7.838s||3|