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Giltaire beats Peugeot to French F4 victory and title in Paul Ricard finale

by Ida Wood

Photo: KSP Reportages

Evan Giltaire won the final race of the French Formula 4 season at Paul Ricard to take the points lead and therefore the title.

Giltaire came into the title decider four points behind Enzo Peugeot, and started from pole position while Peugeot was fourth on the grid. A win for Giltaire would make him champion regardless of where Peugeot finished.

Peugeot lost a place on the opening lap as Hiyu Yamakoshi jumped from fifth to third, but was back up to fourth on lap two as Romain Andriolo ran over the kerbs at the Montreal chicane and fell behind Peugeot. Just ahead, Yamakoshi went side-by-side with Kevin Foster through Signes and managed to get past him for second place.

Giltaire was 1.5 seconds clear at the front by lap three, and 1.909s ahead the lap after while Andriolo lost another spot to Paul Alberto.

Peugeot could not allow Giltaire to distance himself, and he tried going around the outside of Foster at Signes but was unsuccessful. He tried another pass at turn one next time by but Foster held the inside line and stayed ahead.

At the turn five right-hander he dived to the inside of Foster and bounced over the kerbs at the corner apex. That sent him into the side of Foster, who then bounced over the outside kerbs. That damaged his car and left him spinning across the run-off and into retirement.

Giltaire extended his lead over Yamakoshi to 2.792s on that lap, and by lap seven he was being pressured by Peugeot. He passed him at the Montreal chicane, but now had a 3.885s gap to make up on Giltaire with only a few laps to go.

He could not put a dent in Giltaire’s lead, and so the leader met the chequered flag as champion with his sixth win of 2023.

Alberto and Andriolo finished fourth and fifth, and Garrett Berry was sixth.

There were moments of drama further down the order, with Louis Schlesser getting spun around on lap five, Enzo Richer retiring in the pits at the end of lap seven, Pol Lopez doing the same two laps later and Yani Stevenheydens spinning on the penultimate lap.

Race result (11 laps)
Pos Driver Time
1 Evan Giltaire 23m24.473s
2 Enzo Peugeot +3.898s
3 Hiyu Yamakoshi +5.023s
4 Paul Alberto +9.412s
5 Romain Andriolo +10.470s
6 Garrett Berry +15.524s
7 Andrei Duna +16.318s
8 Edgar Pierre +16.494s
9 Gabriel Doyle-Parfait +20.392s
10 Karel Schulz +22.045s
11 Adrien Closmenil +24.330s
12 Frank Porte-Ruiz +25.272s
13 Leonardo Megna +28.839s
14 Jason Leung +31.328s
15 Tom Kalender +31.883s
16 Finn Wiebelhaus +31.982s
17 Max Reis +32.129s
18 Arthur Dorison +33.753s
19 Edouard Borgna +37.472s
20 Louis Schlesser +37.855s
21 Yani Stevenheydens +38.314s
22 Yaroslav Veselaho +39.040s
23 Joao Paulo Diaz Balasteiro +46.526s
24 Luca Savu +1m09.178s
25 Pol Lopez +2 laps
Ret Enzo Richer
Ret Kevin Foster
Fastest lap: Giltaire, 2m07.034s

Championship standings
1 Giltaire 317   2 Peugeot 313   Foster 216   Andriolo 188  5 Yamakoshi 146   6 Berry 124   Stevenheydens 107   8 Richer 76   9 Pierre 74  10 Pol Lopez 54