At only 14 and a half, Théo Pourchaire was expecting a lot from his first single-seater race, after a brilliant career in karting with many titles. On the Nogaro circuit, as part of the 2018 French F4 Championship, the Grasse driver made a strong impression by frequently appearing as one of the fastest in the pack. With two podiums to his credit, a fastest lap, the 3rd provisional place in the championship and three trophies rewarding the top Junior, Theo makes a very positive assessment of his debut.
French Champion in Minime, Cadet and Junior, a member of the French FFSA Karting team, 3rd in the Junior World Championship and among the big revelations among the OK hopefuls at the highest level of world karting in 2017, Théo Pourchaire has embarked on a new challenge by entering car racing this season.”The French F4 Championship organised by the FFSA Academy has revealed many champions in recent years, some of whom have reached F1 like Jean-Eric Vergne, Charles Pic and more recently Pierre Gasly, currently a driver with Toro Rosso in Grands Prix. Like them, my ambition is to climb the ladder to the top of the motorsport pyramid. In this perspective, I think it was a great solution to debut in this F4 championship,” said Theo Pourchaire. “Along with our private winter testing programme, our partnership with Simumotion allowed me to spend time on the single-seater simulator, to best prepare for the season.”
First overall podium
On Saturday, it was raining on the Nogaro circuit for the first day of the meeting. After 3rd in Free Practice in a shower, Theo started again with wet tyres for the Qualifying session. For several minutes, he held provisional pole position, but the track dried up as the laps went on. At the end of the session, Theo was unfortunately held up in traffic at a time when his rivals are enjoying a surplus of grip to improve their times. The young Frenchman dropped to 4th place, a position he would retain in Race 1 on Sunday morning.”The track had not completely finished drying and there was still a lot of wet areas off the line, so it was really hard to overtake.”
With the principle of the inverse grid for the top 10, Théo Pourchaire started Race 2 in 7th position. In addition to a great start, the adjustments made on his car were positive. Theo made a superb comeback, which ended in 2nd place, which meant another victory in the Junior class with a bonus of the fastest lap in the race.
A promising position
Easter Monday confirmed Theo’s pace in Race 3. He was undoubtedly in the right rhythm and improved his lap times on every lap. After intense effort for more than 20 minutes, he crossed the finish line in 3rd position, not without having put pressure on the first two. After the podium, Théo Pourchaire analysed his weekend lucidly.”The Qualifying session on Saturday played a very important role and no doubt the result could have been different if I had been able to keep 1st or 2nd position. Nevertheless, I am in provisional 3rd place in the championship with 40 points, against 46 to the two drivers ahead of me. I positioned myself among the favourites in the French Championship, which was my goal for this first meeting at Nogaro. Along with all the partners who support me, as well as my team, I am really looking forward to the next race to try to clinch my first win. “2018 F4 Calendar 1st-2nd April: Nogaro (32, Gers), 12th-13th May: Pau City (64, Pyrénées Atlantiques), 2nd-3rd June: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), 14th-15th July: Dijon (21, Côte d’Or), 8th-9th September: Magny-Cours (58, Nièvre), 6th-7th October: Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 13th-14th October: Paul Ricard-Le Castellet (83, Var).