Ye Ha! Yifei Wins Safety Car Interrupted Final Race


20 YE Yifei CHN F4 Action during the 2016 GT Tour circuit french championship, from July 8 to 10 at Magny-Cours, France - Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI

After a poor race two, Sunday proved that Ye Yifei has lost none of his dominance. The Chinese driver broke away in the early half of the Magny-Cours race, even stretching a gap of 1.8 seconds in the final lap after a late safety car.

Ye lead the French F4 field away for the final time as Javier Cobian was given the opportunity to chase him off the line. Sadly for the Spaniard, he, like his rivals before him, was unable to jump the pole-sitter.

As the field barrelled into the hairpin, third place Gilles Magnus defended his place from Michael Benyahia who was determined to disrupt the break away three. Instead, he moved backwards, losing a place to Hugo Chevalier.

By the end of the second lap, Ye had already built up a second gap over Magnus. Life was less content for Cobian who didn’t have the speed of Chevalier into the final sector.

Cobian, Chevalier and Michael Benyahia were nose to tail through the hairpin as Chevalier made the overtake into turn seven. Cobian jumped over the kerbs and kept his place. A lap later, it was Chevalier going backwards as Benyahia took him into the hairpin.

Jean-Baptise Mela had tried to follow him through, but was tagged and dropped behind Casper Roes Anderson. The Dane then gained a place on Chevalier just as the safety car was called.

Jose Sierra appeared to have come together with Pierre-Alexandre Jean. Both got out of their cars, but Jean quickly fell to the ground. He appeared to be in some pain as he held his lower back and waved his feet frantically. The medical crew eventually collected his stretchering him off.

It was later apparent that Pierre-Paul Baradat was also involved. The #24 limped back to the pits where he retired, clearly frustrated. Jean was taken for a medical examination.

The race got back underway with only one lap left to run. Ye was quick to make a break, building up an immediate gap to Magnus who had been careful to watch his getaway.

As the chequered flag flew, it was Ye who once again won from Magnus and Cobian. Behind them Benyahia and Chevalier maintained their starting positions to finish fourth and fifth. Though an excellent drive from Roes Anderson saw him jump from tenth to sixth at the line.