Romain Andriolo took a second career victory in French Formula 4 in the third race of the weekend at Many-Cours after on-the-road winner Evan Giltaire was penalised.
Giltaire started on pole but instantly lost the lead to Enzo Peugeot. He tried reclaiming the lead at turn one but there was not enough room, then Andriolo in third put him under pressure at turn five.
Late in the lap Edgar Pierre was hit off, and the safety car led the field through lap two. Peugeot was still warming up his tyres after racing resumed, but he did not have to worry about coming under threat as the safety car was summoned again almost instantly as Edouard Borgna went off-track with a damaged front-left wheel just before the restart occurred.
Garrett Berry also retired in the pits, and the field spent laps three and four behind the safety car before another restart.
The top two broke away, and Kevin Foster overtook Hiyu Yamakoshi for fourth at turn five. Turn 15, the corner before the final chicane, became Giltaire’s favoured place to attack Peugeot and he twice almost got alongside in the next laps while the pair built a gap of almost five seconds to the fight for third.
On lap nine of 12 there was drama as Peugeot had a loose moment through the long turn nine left-hander, but retained the lead, and Yaroslav Veselaho was hit off by Adrei Duna which sent both into the barriers.
They were far enough away from the track itself for only double yellow flags to be required during the recovery operation, but it did mean no overtaking could take place in the middle of the lap.
On the penultimate lap Giltaire went down the inside of Peugeot at turn five and took the lead, before they came across the yellow flags. Peugeot returned the favour on the last lap, reclaiming first place despite a lock-up into the corner which compromised both, and after the yellow flags there was only two corners Giltaire had a chance at.
He locked up his front-right wheel as he took a tight turn-in for turn 15 and it worked, bringing him right onto Peugeot’s rear. Except as he accelerated out of the corner he spun Peugeot around, and copped a drive-through penalty that was converted into a 30s post-race penalty.
It dropped points leader Giltaire from victory to 18th, with Andriolo inheriting victory as Peugeot recovered from the spin to cross the line in sixth – and be classified fifth.
Race result (12 laps)
|13||Frank Porte Ruiz||+17.003s|
|21||Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro||+34.345s|
|Fastest lap: Peugeot, 1m40.767s