Evan Giltaire scored a lights-to-flag victory in the first race of his car racing career as the French Formula 4 season began at Nogaro.
Tipped as a pre-season favourite after a glittering karting career, Giltaire held the lead from pole position at the start and led fellow rookie Kevin Foster by 1.1 seconds at the end of the first lap.
He nearly doubled that advantage to move over two seconds clear on lap two, and continued to lower the fastest lap in the early stages.
At one stage the gap was over three seconds, although Giltaire’s pace started to slow in the closing laps and he finished up 2.5s ahead of Foster.
Enzo Peugeot, the highest-placed of last year’s drivers to return, leapt from sixth to third at the start and kept Foster under pressure until the last lap, when he dropped back by a couple of seconds.
Enzo Richer kept Romain Andriolo at bay to score his best result to-date in fourth, while Pol Lopez achieved a similar feat in sixth after passing debutant Hiyu Yamakoshi at the three-quarter mark.
Max Reis was another driver to make a move late on, taking eighth away from Luca Savu, with Yani Stevenheydens completing the top 10.
Edgar Pierre had a race to forget to begin his second season. After starting 21st, an off at Turn 4 dropped him to the rear before he was given a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits on three occasions.
An incident on the first lap put Paul Alberto into the gravel at Turn 11 and caused Andrei Duna to pit and retire.
|1||Evan Giltaire||15 laps|
|18||Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro||+33.581s|
|23||Frank Porte Ruiz||+44.523s|
|Fastest lap: Giltaire, 1m28.218s|