Home Formula 4Australian F4 Piszcyk dominant on Australian F4’s return at The Bend Motorsport Park

Piszcyk dominant on Australian F4’s return at The Bend Motorsport Park

by Ida Wood

Photo: Top Speed

Australian Formula 4 returned from a four-year hiatus at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend, and James Piszcyk was the star driver.

The 11-car field got a two-day test, then a single practice session, two qualifying sessions and race one on Saturday.

Piszcyk was fastest by a huge 1.312 seconds over Nicolas Stati in practice, with Blake Purdie the only other driver within two seconds of him. Nobody did more than four laps and at least four drivers did not attempt reaching a representative pace since five seconds covered the top seven and everyone else was more than 12.7s slower than Piszcyk.

Purdie reduced his advantage to 0.4478s in Q1, with Stati 1.012s behind in third. The top 10 were covered by 8.2688s, and Mark Wilson was absent due to an accident in practice.

Piszcyk was more dominant in Q2, which set race three’s grid, going fastest by 0.8487s over Stati and 1.5117s over Purdie. The field was covered by 10.2775s, with Nick Filipetto exceeding 107% of the absolute pace in Q1 and Wilson doing so in Q2. That is the point where many series rule drivers out of races for being too slow.

A 1.25s lead was built by Piszcyk on the opening lap of race one, and it stood at 2.3s on lap six when the safety car appeared after Mark Rosser spun off at the last corner. Racing resumed on lap nine and Purdie attacked Piszcyk through several corners before the safety car was summoned again due to Nathan Gotch spinning off.

The next restart was on lap 11 of 12 and Piszcyk weaved down the pit straight to try breaking the tow. He finished 0.9688s ahead of Purdie, with Stati losing third to a five-second penalty for jumping the start. That meant Seth Gilmore completed the podium, 5.9593s behind. Joanne Ciconte finished seventh despite spinning off mid-race.

Race one’s results set race two’s grid, but John-Paul Drake had to start from the pits due to work having taken place on his car.

Piszcyk made a great start and was 1.7s clear of Purdie within a lap, with that gap at 5.7386s by the end of the 15-lap race.

Sebastien Amadio passed Gilmore for third into turn one the first time, with Stati taking fourth from him at the same corner on lap two and then passing Amadio there on lap four. He finished 16.6699s behind Piszcyk.

Gilmore got back past Amadio on lap six, and they briefly traded places again on lap 13 as they lost more than two seconds per lap to the top two. The only dramatic moment was Drake spinning while attempting a double diving pass mid-race.

Piszcyk won race three by 8.3456s. Stati resisted Purdie’s attempts to take second on lap three, then lost out to him in a photo finish by 0.1548s. But Purdie’s overtake came as he went past a yellow flag, waved due to Filipetto’s car being abandoned at the final corner for four laps, and a 30s penalty dropped him to fifth. Gilmore inherited third, 29.2785s behind Piszcyk.

Results round-up
Race 1 (12 laps)
1 James Piszcyk AGI Sport 28m22.8398s
2 Blake Purdie Jam Motorsport +0.9688s
3 Seth Gilmore AGI Sport +5.9593s
4 Sebastien Amadio Jam Motorsport +7.0840s
5 Nicolas Stati AGI Sport +7.1314s
6 John-Paul Drake Jam Motorsport +10.6689s
7 Joanne Ciconte Formula Race Academy +12.9159s
8 Nick Filipetto Formula Race Academy +15.6052s
9 Mark Wilson Formula Race Academy +27.5393s
Ret Nathan Gotch Formula Race Academy
Pole: Piszyck, 1m49.4471s
Fastest lap: Piszcyk, 1m50.332s

Race 2 (15 laps)
1 Piszcyk 27m37.3754s
2 Purdie +5.7386s
3 Stati +16.6699s
4 Gilmore +34.3399s
5 Amadio +36.3521s
6 Mark Rosser Jam Motorsport +1m07.1824s
7 Ciconte +1m12.4172s
8 Filipetto +1m16.2087s
9 Gotch +1m17.0761s
10 Drake +1m27.7938s
FL: Piszcyk, 1m49.8767s

Race 3 (15 laps)
1 Piszcyk 27m45.6771s
2 Stati +8.3456s
3 Gilmore +29.2785s
4 Amadio +30.2988s
5 Purdie +38.1908s
6 Rosser +56.1563s
7 Gotch +1m08.1134s
8 Drake +1m09.8846s
9 Ciconte +1m33.1265s
10 Wilson +1 lap
P: Piszcyk, 1m48.8938s
FL: Piszyck, 1m50.0871s

Championship standings
1 Piszcyk 75   Purdie 46   3 Stati 43   4 Gilmore 42   5 Amadio 34   6 Rosser 16   7 Ciconte 14   8 Drake 13   9 Gotch 8   10 Filipetto 8