For the first Spanish race of the weekend, Mathieu Jaminet places himself in pole position next to Alexandre Mantovani; followed by Norman Nato and Paul-Loup Chatin. Behind them, Maxime Raphoz –particularly at ease on the Spanish track where he signs his best qualifying of the season – and Tristan Papavoine. The other drivers pretending to the final podium, Matelli and Lanchere, are further away inn 9th and 12th position.
At the extinction of lights, Mathieu Jaminet keeps his position but the best departure is credited to Pierre Sancinéna and Jean-Baptiste Lahaye who gains two positions. During the first laps, the drivers observe each other, try to find the weaknesses to attack. In spite of a good resistance, Maxime Raphoz must give in face to the 2010 champion, Stoffel Vandoorne, for the gain of 6th position. At the same time, Nicolas De Moura, has to abandon too early. Whereas the race seemed to be going on fine for Pierre Sancinéna, he also has to give up the race due to an electric problem.
At the head of the race, Mathieu Jaminet takes advantage of the fight between Alexandre Mantovani and Norman Nato to dig the distance. Paul-Loup Chatin and Stoffel Vandoorne aren’t far away, ready to seize the slightest opportunity whereas Stoffel Vandoorne races on his own trying to catch up on them. As far as Maxime Raphoz is concerned, he is at the head of a group composed of Lahaye, Matelli and Papavoine. But, a little after mid-race and in spite of an excellent race, he has to give up his position betrayed by his car.
Norman Nato is very pressing but Alexandre Mantovani does not give in. The fights are magnificent between the two boys but Norman decides to put an end to this and tempts an attack. The two men are side by side, touch a little which allows Paul-Loup Chatin to come back. In the straight line in front of the pits, all three are together and it is finally the latter who gains 2nd position and the best lap in race. Nato follows and Mantovani finally sees Vandoorne overtake him too. In spite of his fightful spirit, this was without doubt a lap too much for Mantovani, who pockets the points of 5th position.
After having highly lead the race, Mathieu Jaminet crosses the finishing line for the 3rd time of season as winner. Author of a magnificent race, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye crosses it in 6th position in front of Franck Matelli, Tristan Papavoine, Valentin Simonet and Paul Lanchere. Just like in Silverstone, the young Italian Giada De Zen finishes 12th and confirms yet again her progress since the autumn restart.
Mathieu Jaminet: « I like this circuit very much, it it most probably the one I prefer of the season. This is a great opportunity for the championship and I hope to do as well tomorrow. »
Paul-Loup Chatin: « I am very happy with this 2nd position, especially when I think of the championship. The fight was very intense and I was able to seize the right moment. Tomorrows’ race will certainly be just as intense! »
Norman Nato: « I am disappointed because I thought I could have done better. Alexandre is not faster than me must very difficult to overtake. I really hope to do better tomorrow. Even more so that I am leaving in pole position. »
French F4 Championship - Spa-Francorchamps
Date of birth 26/02/1995 at St Herblain (44)
Bretagne-Pays de la Loire Regional Committee of Motorsport, Cap transaction, TMPS, Grand Prix Racewear, CL Corporation, Auto Drive Concept, Mairie d'Erquy, Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne