French F4 2024
Round 1

A double podium for Taito Kato in the F4 Academy at Nogaro

fr Circuit de Nogaro

Trained at the Honda Racing School in Suzuka, Japan, after a brilliant career in karting, Taito Kato is continuing his career with the FFSA Academy and the French F4 Championship in 2024.

A double podium for Taito Kato in the F4 Academy at Nogaro

The 16-year-old Japanese hopeful is following in the footsteps of several of his compatriots, including Ayumu Iwasa, F4 Champion in 2020, Ren Sato and, more recently, Arao Souta.

The first of the seven events took place from 29th March to 1st April as part of the Easter Cup on a circuit that is part of the heritage of French motorsport, the Nogaro circuit. Taito had a lot to learn during the meeting, but his learning curve proved to be very fast! In fact, he finished with the fastest absolute time in private practice on Friday. The following day, the day of the Qualifying session, he set the 3rd fastest time among the 25 cars entered in the French F4 Championship, securing himself a remarkable place on the inside of the second row of the starting grid for Race 1.

“I felt good in the car and I was determined to go for pole position,” commented the Japanese driver. “Unfortunately, I soon found myself with understeer, which seriously disrupted my session. I was only able to set one decent time, so I only qualified 8th in Race 3, the order of which is defined by the second best laps by each driver.”

In Race 1, the number 20 car managed to get away perfectly from the starting grid, as Taito immediately gained a place. Faster than the leader for much of the race, Taito put him under pressure for several laps before securing a magnificent 2nd place. While Race 2 was cancelled due to suddenly deteriorating weather conditions on Sunday afternoon, the Honda driver showed his fighting qualities in Race 3.

He got off to another excellent start and ended the first lap in 6th position, a gain of two places. Despite two safety car periods, Taito made several passes and his efforts were rewarded with 3rd place on the podium. “It was a great attacking race. After these first two podiums in F4, I’m P3 in the provisional Championship standings. I’m going to keep pushing over the next few races in the hope of aiming for victory soon.”

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