Rougier Rockets Ahead with Triple Spa Success


Credit: KSP Reportages / FFSA

Having taken the series lead at the last round, Arthur Rougier extended his gap at the top of the French F4 Championship due to a perfect weekend at Spa-Francorchamps. The French driver collected a double pole before winning all three races.

Rougier leaves the fourth round with 189 points, 36 ahead of nearest rival Victor Martins, who had a comparatively tough weekend with two second places and a fourth in the opening encounter.

Javier Gonzalez also had a strong weekend with two third places, while Pierre-Alexander Jean and Florian Venturi also left with silverware. Finally, a relatively strong weekend for local driver Ugo de Wilde ensures that all full season drivers have scored points.

Qualifying

Pole: Arthur Rougier

Practice had taken place in wet conditions with the drivers needing to relearn the track line for qualifying. Arthur Rougier was the best to adapt, regularly beating his personal best to eventually take pole with a time of 2min 30.983.

The time was 0.710 seconds ahead of both Pierre-Alexandre Jean and Victor Martins who both set identical times. Jean would be classed ahead having set his lap earlier on. Javier Gonzalez and Jean-Baptise Mela completed the top five with all the front runners setting their personal best early on.

Race 1

Winner: Arthur Rougier

Starting on pole proved to be an advantage for Rougier with the Frenchman quickly breaking away from the rest of the pack. Rougier would eventually pull out a gap of four seconds, dominating the opening race and setting the precedent for the weekend to come.

Behind him, a battle at the start saw Pierre-Alexandre Jean jump up to second, pulling out an initial gap and holding his place until the end of the race. The battle for the final podium place was more intense though with Victor Martins swapping places with Javier Gonzalez, with the Mexican coming out on top.

Rounding out the top six would be Jean-Baptise Mela and Christian Munoz, with Mela spending the second half of the race holding off a queue of four cars.

Credit: FFSA

Race 2

Winner: Arthur Rougier

The reverse grid race saw Thomas Drouet start on pole, just a few weeks since his last reverse grid pole at Pau. Sadly for the young driver his win could not be repeated as he quickly lost the lead. From there, an accident with Christian Munoz led to a safety car.

Another accident on the restart saw three more retirements and bringing the number of runners down to eleven. Despite having started tenth, this left Arthur Rougier in the lead and the championship leader did not halt on his march to victory in the reverse grid fixture.

Victor Martins was only driver to come close to beating him, but even he could not stop the march of Martins. Behind them, Florian Venturi achieved a third after his race one disaster, beating home Pierre-Alexandre Jean and race one podium finisher Florian Venturi.

The race would also see de Wilde score his first points of the season.

Race Three

Winner: Arthur Rougier

With Rougier starting on pole, he had every chance to leave his weekend with an almost perfect result having already collected silverware in the each of the events.

It wouldn’t start in the best light though as Rougier fell behind rival Victor Martins. Rougier was not prepared to settle for the result though, quickly working his way back through the fied before retaking the lead from Martins.

The pair jostled for a few laps, before Rougier took the initiative and helped pull the pair ahead of the competition. Javier Gonzalez would once again round out the podium, once again collecting third.

Florian Venturi set the fastest lap during his lonely run to fourth, proving the true pace that Venturi had. Finally in fifth was Christian Munoz, spending the race chased down by a queue of cars, ensuring Jean-Baptise Mela was sixth.

Elsewhere, Charles Milesi was absent during qualifying, with the #6 not appearing for the rest of the weekend and virtually giving up his championship chances.