Evan Giltaire dominated the final French Formula 4 race at Spa-Francorchamps to extend his championship lead.
Giltaire had to resist Kevin Foster on lap one, then on lap two Foster had the slipstream down the Kemmel Straight to be able to attack again. Nothing came of it, and Foster actually lost second place at the end of the lap to Hiyu Yamakoshi.
The pair went side-by-side at Les Combes on the next lap and Foster, on the outside, cut across the corner entirely and returned to track with a gap to Yamakoshi.
He finished the lap six tenths of a second ahead, but already 2.4 seconds behind Giltaire, and soon Yamakoshi had the benefit of the slipstream to continue the battle. He tried moves at Les Combes and the Bus Stop chicane on lap five, then La Source on the next lap before finally getting the move done at Les Combes.
Chasing them was Enzo Peugeot, who had passed Adrien Closmenil for fourth on lap two. Closmenil lost fifth to Tom Kalender a lap later, then retired in the pits at the end of lap six. Finn Wiebelhaus’s race also ended early in the pitlane, with engineers having to examine his engine once he retired.
Giltaire was 5.167s clear after six laps, benefitting from the tussles behind. Foster reclaimed second Yamakoshi on lap seven on the inside down the Kemmel Straight, and behind them Frank Porte Ruiz spun down the order after sitting an impressive seventh.
On the next lap Yamakoshi came back at Foster and did him at the outside of Les Combes, but Foster had the inside line for turn nine so almost immediately moved back ahead. It then all became arbitrary, as on lap nine of 10 a five-second penalty was issued to Foster for track limits abuse.
He continued to defend, but a big lock-up into La Source on the last lap left him vulnerable and Yamakoshi passed him at Les Combes. Peugeot could not follow him through, but the penalty meant he still made the podium, 10s behind winner Giltaire.
Foster’s penalty only dropped him one spot, as on the road he finished over eight seconds clear of Garrett Berry in fifth.
Leonardo Megna got spun into retirement at Les Combes on the last lap, while Jason Leung spun at the last corner and dropped from ninth to 15th.
Race result (10 laps)
|16||Frank Porte Ruiz||+35.392s|
|20||Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro||+44.849s|
|Fastest lap: Giltaire, 2m26.019s