Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda drivers warmed up Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course early Friday morning as the first session on track for qualifying. DeForce Racing rookie Guilherme Peixoto seized his first pole position of the of the season, clocking a fast time of 1:27.554 in the No. 99 gmaxcorp/XYZ Talents machine to edge out Joshua Car by nine hundredths of a second. The drive earned the Brazilian pilot the Cameron Das Fast Qualifier Award presented by Druck.
"It was a good qualifying, I got my first pole position," said Peixoto. " I hope to convert this top qualifying result into a victory."
Peixoto traded laps with DC Autosport with Cape Motorsports driver Nicky Hays throughout the 30-minute session until a late red flag forced drivers to the pits. Race officials extended the session by two minutes due to clean up and that was all it took for the other F4 U.S. drivers to get in flying laps, bumping Hays from second on the charts to seventh once the session went back green. The top-seven times were only separated by half a second.
"Before the red flag we were fighting for the pole" said a disappointed Hays. "Unfortunately on my last flying lap, I caught the red flag. I was one lap behind everyone, and ended P2 before the red flag. Then on the restart I had a freak mechanical issue, something really small, that kept me from returning. In that two minutes, I went from P2 to P7, which was a real shame because we had the pace to fight for the pole. It's time to put on a show in the race to go where we belong."
While Hays suffered the consequences of the red flag, championship points leader Car benefited from it. The Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport driver struggled the first half of qualifying, battling just to get into the top-seven. But, Car was one of the first cars out after the session went green, catching clean air after the restart. The clean air helped as Car's Hankook Tires came up to temperature, and by the end of the two minute extension, he nearly took pole position.
"I struggled with tire pressure and tire temperature at the start of the session," Car said. "It started to work at the end of the session. I got two laps in with clean air and ended up coming up into the front row. I have a five spot grid penalty, which is a shame, but I am still excited and we have really good speed here. Hopefully we can attack from the podium."
However, Car's qualifying position was docked by five positions due to a penalty issued from the final round at Virginia International Raceway. Car will now head the fourth row, starting seventh.
After results went final, the DEForce Racing Brazilians owned the front row with Peixoto starting on pole and Kiko Porto promoted to second. Jay Howard Driver Development sophomore Wyatt Brichacek qualified with his best results of the season to start third, along with Velocity Racing Development series newcomer Michael d'Orlando, who joined F4 at VIR, in fourth. Hays and Arthur Leist round out Row 3.
Round 10 starts at 10:55 a.m. ET on today (Friday). Follow live on the Race Monitor app or