Evan Giltaire took a lights-to-flag victory in the opening French Formula 4 race at Spa-Francorchamps to reclaim the championship lead.
Starting from pole, Giltaire held off a first lap challenge from FEED Racing France sholar Kevin Foster and was never threatened thereafter.
Behind the leading pair, Romain Andriolo held off Hiyu Yamakoshi for the final podium position after a race-long battle.
Lap-after-lap Yamakoshi had a run on Andriolo through Raidillon, drawing alongside along the Kemmel Straight. On several occasions, Yamakoshi edged marginally ahead as they ran side-by-side up the hill before Andriolo reasserted himself through Les Combes.
Their battle allowed Tom Kalender, recovering from a tardy getaway from the second row, to draw onto their tail but without getting close enough to challenge.
Pre-race points leader Enzo Peugeot finished sixth from eighth on the grid, ending the eight-lap race over four seconds ahead of Louis Schlesser and Max Reis.
Two safety car periods broke up the rhythm of the race. The race was neutralized initially after Pol Lopez and Finn Wiebelhaus tangled at Les Combes on lap one.
After a single lap behind the safety car, Giltaire made a perfect restart, putting a second between himself and Foster by Les Combes, with Yamakoshi looking left and right of Andriolo into the corner.
Two laps later the safety car was back on track as Jason Leung’s car was stranded on the racing line on the exit of La Source after an incident with Gabriel Doyle-Parfait and Paul Alberto.
Giltaire again went early as the field went through Blanchimont and, although Foster was this time ready for the move and could stay with the leader, Giltaire was untouchable.
Behind them Edgar Pierre dropped back down the order after trying an attack on Peugeot into the Bus Stop.
Race result (8 laps)
|18||Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro||+18.416s|
|19||Frank Porte Ruiz||+18.619s|
|Fastest lap: Giltaire, 2m25.620s