With each passing meeting of the French F4 Championship, Evan Giltaire confirms that he has indeed become a Qualifying specialist. As at Nogaro and Magny-Cours, the French hopeful secured pole position for Races 1 and 3 of the fourth round of the 2023 series. On the Spa Francorchamps circuit, Canadian Kevin Foster won the duel for 2nd place ahead of Japan’s Hiyu Yamakoshi and Germany’s Tom Kalender, who achieved his best Qualifying result since his debut with the FFSA Academy.
In Belgium, the weather conditions were ideal when the drivers set off for the Qualifying session, with around 20 degrees air temperature and the track at over 30 degrees. Evan Giltaire, who had set the fastest time in the morning free session, was keen to confirm this, even though he was aware that perfect use of the new tyres would still be essential if he was to have any hope of a place at the top of the hierarchy, not to mention the very significant slipstream effect on the Ardennes toboggan.
On a circuit as long as Spa Francorchamps (7004m), the drivers had only a few laps in which to set the best possible times, and it was important to concentrate to avoid the slightest mistake. It took several minutes for the hierarchy to stabilise and it was Evan Giltaire who made his effort at the right moment to move into 1st place. Kevin Foster was closing on his rival, but Giltaire improved again towards the end of the session to take pole position with a time of 1:24.303, synonymous with pole position for Race 1. His second fastest lap of 1:24.666 also gave him the best grid position for Race 3.
“It was a difficult session to manage, especially in the first few laps, when everyone was trying to find the best position to get the best possible slipstream, even if it meant losing time at times. In the end I found the solution and set two excellent times,” commented Evan.
Hiyu Yamakoshi was a little behind for part of the session, but improved in the final minutes to climb to 3rd behind Foster. Tom Kalender was delighted to take 4th place. 5th place went to Romain Andriolo in 2:24.941, a time very similar to that of Edgar Pierre. Current leader of the French Championship, Enzo Peugeot will start 8th in Race 1 behind Adrien Closmenil. Louis Schlesser and American Garrett Berry completed the top 10 and will therefore be on the front row of Race 2, based on the principle of an inverted grid for the top 10 finishers in Qualifying.
> Continuation of the programme at Spa Francorchamps 2023
Saturday 3rd June: Race 1 (11:00 – 11:30) and Race 2 (16:50 – 17:20)
Sunday 4th June: Race 3 (16:05 – 16:35)
Provisional timetable, subject to change during the meeting.
Info FFSA Academy / Photo © KSP – Guillaume Veuve