Any single seater driver worth his salt will tell you that the Pau Grand Prix weekend is probably the most daunting of any. Tight, twisty and challenging, the street circuit through the picturesque village is famous for its multiple accidents and hazards over the years.
But for South African kid Stuart White, Pau will be a wonderful memory after he enjoyed a tremendous third round of the FFSA French Formula 4 Academy Championship in Pau over the weekend, which ended up with the Bloemfontein youngster standing on the podium for the second race in succession.
“What an awesome weekend,” Stuart (15) marveled after spraying the champagne again. “The atmosphere around the track was great – it’s so festive with parties going on everywhere and the people are so friendly. “And then the racing … wow to race on the street circuit for the first time was something else — in the wet in particular!
“If that tight and demanding track is not enough of a challenge as it is, we started the first race on slicks and then it rained after six laps and it was so was so slippery. “I was very happy to keep it together and bring it home fourth and again in the reverse race 2, where the top ten are inverted, I started and finished in sixth, but I was the first Junior driver home so that’s great!
“The final race was brilliant — I was third overall and won the Junior category to stand on the podium again on a completely different track to the high speed Monza last time.” White is now also up to fifth overall in the championship and second in the Junior title chase despite that horrible first race where he so struggled with the car.
Stuart also came away from Pau with the distinction of winning the Junior class overall as well as setting the fastest race lap of the weekend. Next stop for Stuart is another legendary circuit — the great Spa Francorchamps 10-11 June. “I really can’t wait for that, Stuart admitted. “It would be great to take a step or two up the podium at Spa!”