Home Formula 4ACCR F4 Ischer holds off Francot to win wet F4 CEZ race two at Autodrom Most

Ischer holds off Francot to win wet F4 CEZ race two at Autodrom Most

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Roger Gascoigne

Ethan Ischer resisted race-long pressure from Jenzer Motorsport team-mate Reno Francot for his second Formula 4 Central European Zone victory of the weekend at a wet Autodrom Most.

Michael Sauter took a distant third for his family-run Sauter Engineering + Design team.

The podium finishers and Jenzer team owner Andreas Jenzer received their trophies from Czech Formula 2 star Roman Stanek, with the Czech Republic’s president Petr Pavel also in attendance at the podium ceremony.

Ischer led away from the rolling start following an initial lap behind the safety car, with Francot slotting into second in the spray.

Two drivers in the eight-car field had failed to make it around the formation lap, with SAPE Motorsport’s Miroslav Mikes joining from the pitlane, while Jenzer had to fix some technical issues on Mathias Bjerre Jakobsen’s car before he could finally join the race, two laps down.

By the end of lap 6 of 13, Francot was onto the tail of Ischer, and tried to make a move into turn one but Ischer was able to hold on.

As the pair returned on the far side of the circuit, they touched “two or three times” according to Francot, with both flying off the circuit at turn 15.

“I braked a little bit too late and locked the rears,” admitted Francot. “But it’s hard racing.”

Luckily, neither car was damaged and both were able to drive across the wet gravel run-off and grass to rejoin the track without losing positions.

After dropping back, Francot closed right onto Ischer’s gearbox in the closing laps but was unable to find a way through, crossing the line just 0.35 seconds behind.

The condition were “quite difficult with a lot of rain”, explained Ischer. “We tried to manage the new line because it was the first time we drove on this track in the wet.”

“We touched on one lap with Reno, just a small contact. It’s just racing. In the end it was a nice race with good fights,” he told Formula Scout.

Francot said he was “trying everything to overtake him but he was defending really well; we were both on the limit so it’s really difficult to find an overtaking opportunity”.

Sauter dropped back from the leading pair and even had to fight off a mid-race challenge from JMT Racing’s Jan Rieger, making only his second F4 start, but managed to pull out a comfortable advantage to finish third.

Rieger held onto fourth, ahead of Mikes who recovered from his pitlane start to challenge Rieger before dropping back.

Jenzer’s Max Karhan came home sixth, in only his second car race, doing well to make the finish in the tricky conditions.

Behind him, Gender Racing’s Oliver Michl endured a difficult race, with a number of off-track excursions at the tricky turn 15, with Jakobsen eighth and last.

Race 2 (13 laps)
1 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport 25m57.513s
2 Reno Francot Jenzer Motorsport +0.347s
3 Michael Sauter Sauter Engineering+Design +17.523s
4 Jan Rieger JMT Racing +35.938s
5 Miroslav Mikes SAPE Motorsport +39.656s
6 Max Karhan Jenzer Motorsport +59.926s
7 Oliver Michl Gender Racing Team +57.525s
8 Mathias Bjerre Jakobsen Jenzer Motorsport +2 laps
Fastest lap: Francot, 1m53.773s

Championship standings
1 Francot 152   2 Ischer 133   3 Sauter 101   4 Michl 72   5 Jakobsen 69   6 Egozi 50   7 Taylor 43   8 Mikes 43   9 Safranek 30  10 Bhirombhakdi 24