After his double victory in the opening race at Nogaro, Australian driver Hugh Barter will arrive in the city of Pau with the leader’s number in the French F4 Championship. On this urban track winding through the city at kerb level, the show promises to be intense.
The 24 single-seaters of the FFSA Academy will compete from 6th to 8th May for the second of the seven events in the 2022 season within the framework of a major international meeting, including the Touring World Cup and the Euroformula Open. The FIA-certified French F4 Championship has not visited the famous Grand Prix de Pau since 2019 and the young academicians are preparing to discover this monument to motor sport with enthusiasm, as well as apprehension and uncertainty. None of the drivers have raced in Pau and all will start on an equal footing.
Suspense to be expected from Foch to the Station
The 2022 French F4 Championship got off to an excellent start at the Easter Cup in Nogaro, with 24 drivers from 11 different nationalities taking part. This first event gave many drivers the opportunity to showcase their skills. Australian Hugh Barter dominated, but his rivals constantly put him under pressure. Japan’s Souta Arao was pressing in Race 1. His compatriot Yuto Nomura, another driver supported by Red Bull as part of their F4 Academy commitment, won Race 2. Then it was the turn of Frenchman Pierre-Alexandre Provost to finish as Barter’s runner-up in Race 3. Elliott Vayron, Alessandro Giusti, Enzo Peugeot and Belgian Lorens Lecertua brought the number of drivers to have tasted the podium in Gers to eight.
The Championship promises to be undecided, because other young hopefuls have shown potential, such as Enzo Geraci, the Swiss driver Dario Cabanelas and Edgar Pierre, who is not among the most experienced drivers. After having frequently distinguished themselves on the French karting circuits, some talented karting graduates will not want to stop there, like Romain Andriolo, Louis Pelet, Enzo Richer, Leny Réveillère and Pablo Sarrazin. Luciano Morano (France) and Pol Lopez Gutierrez (Andorra) also expect to progress very quickly in this extremely competitive international field. Others have chosen to come from afar to discover the French Championship, such as Amir Sayed (India), Valentino Mini (Panama), Jeronimo Berrio (Colombia) and Mateo Villagomez (Ecuador).
The youngest driver in the class is German and is called Max Reis (15 years old), while Antoine Fernande is the oldest at 22 years old! All of them will have to tame the 2760 metres of the Pau circuit, the station bend, the chicane at the Foch statue and the curve of the Parc Beaumont, to name but a few of its famous corners. Although the béarnaise city hosted Formula 1 in the 1950s, it was above all the scene of the F3000, F2 and F3 categories. Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Laffite, Alesi, Montoya, Grosjean and Hamilton have all won here. Created in 1899, the Grand Prix de Pau is still a dream come true!
> F4 Pau 2022 programme
Friday 6th May: Free Practice (10:50 – 11:20) and Qualifying Practice (16:35 – 17:00)
Saturday 7th May: Race 1 (08:50 – 09:15) and Race 2 (15:40 – 16:05)
Sunday 8th May: Race 3 (08:40 – 09:05)
> FIA French F4 Championship (provisional standings after Nogaro)
1 Hugh Barter (AUS) 55 pts, 2 Pierre-Alexandre Provost (FRA) 30 pts, 3 Souta Arao (JPN) 29 pts, 4 Elliott Vayron (FRA) 28 pts, 5 Alessandro Giusti (FRA) 27 pts, 6 Yuto Momura (JPN) 23 pts, 7 Lorens Lecertua (BEL) 18 pts, 8 Enzo Peugeot (FRA) and Enzo Geraci (FRA) 16 pts, 10 Dario Cabanelas (CHE) 12 pts, 11 Edgar Pierre (FRA) 9 pts, 12 Romain Andriolo (FRA) 2 pts, 13 Louis Pelet (FRA), Leny Réveillère (FRA), Amir Sayed (IND), Valentino Mini (PAN), Jeronimo Berrio (COL), Luciano Morano (FRA), Enzo Richer (FRA), Pol Lopez Gutierrez (AND), Max Reis (DEU), Pablo Sarrazin (FRA), Antoine Fernande (FRA), Mateo Villagomez (ECU) 0 pt.
> Mygale single-seater, Renault turbo engine, Pirelli tyres, 100% renewable Repsol biofuel
Follow the event via the ffsaacademy.org website and social networks.
FFSA Academy Press Release / Photo © KSP – Guillaume Veuve