Asian Motorsport reviews the action from races one and two of the third round of the 2024 French F4 season at Spa-Francorchamps.

By Marco Albertini

Race one of the third round of the French F4 Championship was held at 11:05 local time.

Taito Kato started fourth in the wet race but soon gained a position as Yani Stevenheydens and Jules Caranta collided, making the Frenchman lose positions to Chester Kieffer and Kato. As the race drew on, the Japanese driver was regaining the time lost from avoiding the Caranta incident, setting the fastest lap and getting close to Stevenheydens in the process after he was given a ten second penalty for the incident.

Kieffer won race one ahead of Kato who inherited second ahead of the penalised Stevenheydens in third. Rayan Caretti took P5 and Leung classified P17 after being given a ten second time penalty for causing a collision, with Arjun Chheda finishing P20.

Race two of the third round of the French F4 Championship was held at 4:05pm local time in dry conditions.

Rayan Caretti started third for race two but his race would soon take an unexpected turn as coming to Les Combe on the first lap, the Thai driver was spun and was sent to the back of the field. Kato, who had started seventh, made his way up to fifth by the end of the opening lap, as Jason Leung also made good progress from twelfth, moving up to tenth by the end of the first lap.

Kato’s progress wouldn’t stop as he was soon attacking Alex O’Grady for fourth position, and it didn’t take long for the Japanese driver to pass the Irishman and move himself up to fourth.

The championship leader was on a roll, setting the fastest lap and soon attacking Augustin Bernier for third position, and would pass the Frenchman around the outside of Les Combes to get himself up in the podium positions. Indeed, just one lap later, Kato was already knocking on the door for second place, attempting to overtake Gabriel Doyle-Parfait around the outside of Les Combes. However, it wouldn’t work out for the Japanese driver as the Briton managed to hold him behind for most of the lap.

The tables soon turned for Kato as he impressively overtook Doyle-Parfait around the outside of the  Bus Stop chicane to move himself up to second. Doyle-Parfait attempted to re-take the position at the end of the Kemmel straight, but was unable to pass Kato who successfully managed to defend his position.

With two laps to go, rain started to fall on the main straight, and the track soon became very slippery just on one part of the circuit, as the rest of the 7km track stayed bone dry until the end of the race. Despite the challenging mixed conditions of the track, Kato managed to navigate through the track without hassle, overtaking Jules Roussel for the lead with 2 minutes to go.

Kato held on the lead to win race two ahead of Roussel and Bernier. Jason Leung finished in P9, Arjun Chheda in P19 and Rayan Caretti retired after his spin on the opening lap.

French F4 drivers’ championship

  1. Taito Kato (JPN) – 118
  2. Yani Stevenheydens (BEL) – 99
  3. Chester Kieffer (LUX) – 89
  4. Jules Caranta (FRA) – 89
  5. Rayan Caretti (THA) – 62
  6. Jules Roussel (FRA) – 33
  7. Augustin Bernier (FRA) – 29
  8. Frank Porté Ruiz (AND) – 27
  9. Alex O’Grady (IRE) – 22
  10. Leonardo Megna (ITA) – 20

Header image credit: Taito Kato

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