The French F4 season got underway with the 54th edition of the famous Easter Cup at Nogaro – which will be followed by six more race meetings in France, Italy and Hungary. 18 year old Angélina Favario made her first appearance in the series and had a solid debut in formula cars.
The Easter Cup marked the opening of the 2021 season for the FFSA-promoted French Formula 4 Championship at Nogaro. Among the 16 drivers from many different countries, it was 18-year old French racer Angélina Favario: she had previously tested the Mygale F4 car at Nogaro and Le Castellet before, but her first full season in single-seaters effectively began this weekend.
Esteban Masson was the driver to claim the first pole position of the season and to stay on top the time-sheets straight from his second flying lap; nobody would then be able to beat Masson's best lap time. He was followed by Hugh Barter and Owen Tangavelou. Angélina Favario qualified P15 out of the 16 entries in her very first official qualifying.
The second part of the quali session saw the same trio at the front, maintaining the order for race 3, with Angélina in P15 again.
On the Race 1 formation lap, Maceo Capietto stopped on track, with also Adam Szydlowksi stalling on the grid right before the start: both retired. Masson was the driver of the day and led the race from pole position, while Tangavelou overtook Barter in the early stages. In front, Masson pulled away from Tangavelou – who was under pressure from both Barter and Daniel Ligier. Tangavelou finished second ahead of Ligier.
Angélina Favario and Vignesh Kadarabad fought for 13th place on track and came together at the penultimate lap: despite finishing one lap behind, Angélina was classified P13 ahead of the Indian driver.
In Race 2, Thanapongpan Sutumno took reverse grid pole and pulled away quickly after the start, followed by Noah Andy one second behind. The latter had managed to open a significant gap to third placed Giusti, but spun at the exit of Turn 7 with just four minutes left into the race. Andy dropped right at the tail end of the field and retired in the pits shortly after.
Sutumno won with an over 5-second margin ahead of Alessandro Giusti and Gael Julien. Angélina Favario finished 14th, again ahead of Kadarabad.
At the start for Race 3, Barter took over the lead stripping pole sitter Masson of the top spot. Behind them, Tangavelou and Ligier came together as they attempted to go around Masson and were both forced to retire. Meanwhile, Barter and Maceo Capietto pulled away from the pack and battled for the lead. At the end of 15 laps, Australian racer crossed the finish line in first place and scored his first victory in the series, edging Capietto – who nevertheless secured his first podium finish after his unfortunate retirement in Race 1.
Masson, who had stalled at the start and was back to P9 at the end of lap 1, was able to fight his way through the field and finished the race on the last podium spot.
The last lap was marked by some more drama as Alessando Giusti and Pierre-Alexandre Provost made contact, in a crash that sent Provost into the wall.
Angélina Favario was again able to finish in P13. She completed the weekend mistake-free and always managed to keep some of her competitors behind, which is surely a good step in the right direction.
It was in fact a solid debut for the young French woman – definitely a promising outlook for the next weekend which will take place from 7th to 9th May at Magny-Cours.