Home Formula 4French F4 Stevenheydens starts his second French F4 season with two poles

Stevenheydens starts his second French F4 season with two poles

by Ida Wood

Photo: FFSA Academy

Yani Stevenheydens claimed the first two pole positions of the French Formula 4 season at Nogaro.

Rain had blighted pre-event testing and free practice, but the sun shone for quailfying on Saturday afternoon.

Pacome Weisenburger laid down the first benchmark, a 1m59.073s, and Edouard Borgna moved to the top when everyone set their second laps. His 1m39.946s put him 0.276 seconds ahead of Louis Schlesser, with Cheser Kieffer 1.97s behind in third.

Red flags then waved due to Paul Roques putting his car in the turn three gravel, and qualifying stopped for four minutes.

After the restart, the next changes to the order came eight minutes in on drivers’ fifth laps. Augustin Bernier went fastest with a 1m28.107s, and moments later Arthur Dorison lapped just 0.029s slower than him to go second fastest.

Weisenburger got within 0.078s of Bernier in third, but had his lap deleted for exceeding track limits at turn nine, so Schlesser then briefly occupied third place with a 1m30.580s but he had exceeded track limits at turn 12. So Leonardo Megna took the position with a 1m29.540s, only to then be bettered by Gabriel Doyle-Parfait who was 0.971s off Bernier.

Jason Leung and Enzo Caldaras demoted Doyle-Parfait 20s later, then Jules Caranta took third with a 1m28.448s and Montego Maassen went fourth fastest by setting a 1m28.662s.

Bernier was first to complete a sixth lap and improved to 1m27.362s, which Dorison got within 0.186s of when he crossed the line. Schlesser returned to third with a 1m28.224s, which was then beaten by Weisenburger’s 1m27.574s and Kieffer’s 1m28.079s.

Jules Roussel broke into the top four 10 minutes into qualifying by lapping sub-1m28s, but half a minute later was in seventh as Caranta lowered the pace to 1m27.312s and Leung and Maassen improved to fifth and sixth.

Bernier responded to Caranta on his seventh lap, setting a 1m27.087s, and Weisenburger knocked 0.06s off that benchmark but had again exceeded track limits so it did not count.

Next to the top was Stevenheydens, becoming the first driver to go sub-1m27s, and Megna went fourth fastest with a 1m27.271s which was matched by Leung.

Caranta fell 0.075s short of Stevenheydens on his seventh lap, and Maassen got within 0.103s of the pace in third.

Bernier had been shuffled down to fourth, and as qualifying went into its second half he improved his pace but not his position.

Stevenheydens meanwhile lowered the pace to 1m26.351s, and now led Roussel by 0.507s and Megna by 0.626s. Honda-backed racer Taito Kato then became his closest rival, 0.351s off the pace, and with 10 minutes remaining Maassen set a 1m26.828s to take third place before Caranta then beat him by 0.112s.

Caranta later got within 0.106s of Stevenheydens, who responded by improving to an unbeatable 1m26.088s.

Karel Schulz went fourth fastest with 90s to go, but then got beaten by Maassen and Roussel who was one of few drivers to take the chequered flag.

Stevenheyden’s second-best laptime earned him race three pole by 0.62s over Caranta.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Yani Stevenheydens 1m26.088s
2 Jules Caranta +0.369s
3 Taito Kato +0.614s
4 Jules Roussel +0.693s
5 Montego Maassen +0.696s
6 Karel Schulz +0.725s
7 Rayan Caretti +0.747s
8 Leonardo Megna +0.769s
9 Jason Leung +0.913s
10 Chester Kieffer +0.955s

Race 3 grid
1 Stevenheydens 1m26.096s
2 Caranta +0.620s
3 Maassen +0.732s
4 Roussel +0.762s
5 Caretti +0.775s
6 Schulz +0.814s
7 Megna +0.881s
8 Kato +0.931s
9 Kieffer +0.947s
10 Leung +0.979s