Home Formula 4French F4 Lopez passes Schlesser for French F4 Nogaro race two win

Lopez passes Schlesser for French F4 Nogaro race two win

by Peter Allen

Image: FFSA TV

Pol Lopez passed Louis Schlesser late on to win the reversed-grid race two at the opening round of the French Formula 4 season at Nogaro.

On a grid set by reversing the top 10 from qualifying, Schlesser – the son of double World Sportscar champion and one-time Formula 1 starter Jean-Louis – started second and made a much better getaway than polesitter Luca Savu to lead into the first corner, followed by Lopez who started directly behind him in fourth.

Lopez has begun his sophomore season in much-improved form after never finishing higher than 10th last year, and the Andorra-based Spaniard stayed close with Schlesser in the early stages.

The gap between them briefly jumped up to 1.5 seconds in the middle of the race, but Lopez quickly brought it back down below half a second.

With only a couple of minutes left on the clock, Schlesser went deep at Turn 12, allowing Lopez to get alongside him. They were only 0.079s apart at the start-finish line, and Lopez eventually completed a move down the inside at Turn 4.

Within a lap, a problem with the left-rear wheel of Schlesser’s car was becoming more apparent, and Savu found himself forced onto the grass at Turn 2 as he attempted to get by. Several more drivers did overtake Schlesser before he eventually skated off into the gravel at Turn 7.

Lopez took the win by 3.489 seconds over Enzo Peugeot with Yani Stevenheydens completing the podium.

Race one winner Evan Giltaire finished fourth from 10th on the grid, having climbed to seventh on lap one before passing Romain Andriolo.

Savu finished a distant fifth ahead of Andriolo, with Hiyu Yamakoshi and Kevin Foster rounding out the top eight.

Racing novice Edouard Borgna was tipped into a spin at Turn 2 on the opening lap and retired, while Karel Schulz found the barriers at Turn 12 on lap five, running wide while side-by-side with Finn Wiebelhaus. Joao Paulo Diaz also retired soon afterwards with front-end damage.

Race result (15 laps)
Pos Driver Time
1 Pol Lopez 22m39.813s
2 Enzo Peugeot +3.489s
3 Yani Stevenheydens +4.133s
4 Evan Giltaire +5.725s
5 Luca Savu +11.712s
6 Romain Andriolo +14.381s
7 Hiyu Yamakoshi +14.767s
8 Kevin Foster +15.250s
9 Max Reis +16.095s
10 Enzo Richer +19.127s
11 Tom Kalender +19.466s
12 Gabriel Doyle-Parfait +22.364s
13 Jason Leung +26.011s
14 Leonardo Megna +31.108s
15 Garrett Berry +31.668s
16 Yaroslav Veselaho +33.585s
17 Adrien Closmenil +36.321s
18 Finn Wiebelhaus +36.439s
19 Andrei Duna +36.571s
20 Paul Alberto +37.383s
21 Frank Porte Ruiz +39.464s
22 Edgar Pierre +40.772s
23 Louis Schlesser +2 laps
Ret Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro
Ret Karel Schulz
Ret Edouard Borgna
Fastest lap: Lopez, 1m29.590s

Championship standings
1 Giltaire 36   2 Peugeot 27   3 Lopez 24   4 Foster 19   5 Andriolo 14   6 Richer 12   7 Stevenheydens 11   8 Yamakoshi 8   9 Savu 7   10 Reis 4