After the Japanese driver Ayumu Iwasa in Nogaro, his compatriot Ren Sato was the fastest in the Qualifying session for the second round of the 2020 French F4 Championship. In the heat of Magny-Cours, he finished ahead of Sami Meguetounif.
The summer season has decided to continue in France and especially in the Nièvre, with beautiful hot weather announced for the latest meeting of French F4, managed by the FFSA Academy. The GT World Challenge serves as a framework for this new confrontation between 14 young motor sport hopefuls, with many nationalities involved in this high level competition.
Ren Sato sets the bar high!
It took the drivers about five laps to get their bearings and warm up their tyres in the 25-minute session that began at 4:05 pm on Friday, 11th September. Ayumu Iwasa was the first to set a reference time of 1’40″896. Germany’s Valentino Catalano, Marijn Kremers of the Netherlands and Lev Lomko of Russia were all in the top four, which was obviously going to be very fluid. On the next lap, Sami Meguetounif had barely enough time to set the fastest time, before Iwasa regained the lead by just a tenth.
Isack Hadjar also crossed the 1’41 barrier, while Romain Leroux and the Mexican Rafael Villagomez came very close. While the academicians were moving into the second part of the Qualifying session, the Japanese driver Ren Sato went on the attack and set two perfect laps, successively 1’40″022 and 1’39″909, synonymous with a double pole position! In less than three minutes, the 2nd placed driver in the provisional ranking of the FIA French F4 Championship made sure to start in the lead on Saturday morning for Race 1 and Sunday morning for Race 3 (the grid of Race 2 being set with a reversed grid for the top 10 in Race 1).
Sami Meguetounif gets in between
Behind Sato, the drivers redoubled their motivation and attacked to move up in the standings. Meguetounif had to wait two laps to be rewarded for his efforts and recover 2nd place in front of Iwasa, guaranteeing him a front row start in Race 1. But thanks to a better second lap than the Frenchman, Iwasa has ensured that the Japanese drivers will start 1st and 2nd in Race 3.
Isack Hadjar then managed to gain another 10th place with less than four minutes to go, but had to settle for 4th place. From then on, improvements were rare, with the ranking evolving only by small touches. Villagomez got the better of Leroux for 5th place. Catalano was leading the Juniors in 7th position, just ahead of Marijn Kremers, who was waiting for a better place on the circuit where he won the Feed Racing scholarship.
Ukraine’s Ivan Peklin experienced an incident that prevented him from improving at the end of the session. He settled for 10th place just behind Loris Cabirou, who was determined to improve in all three races of the weekend.
Magny-Cours 2020 F4 Programme
Saturday 12th September: Race 1 (08:45) and Race 2 (15:50)
Sunday 13 September: Race 3 (09:10)
Press release FFSA Academy / Photo © KSP – Guillaume Veuve