Home Formula 4Italian F4 Champion Sztuka takes dominant ninth win in Italian F4 finale

Champion Sztuka takes dominant ninth win in Italian F4 finale

by Peter Allen

Photo: ACI Sport

Newly crowned Italian Formula 4 champion Kacper Sztuka took a commanding ninth win of the season in the final race at Vallelunga.

Just as in the previous two grid starts this weekend, Ugo Ugochukwu got away well from third on the grid and, after winning a battle with Prema team-mate Tuukka Taponen for second, was able to put pressure on Sztuka for the lead on the opening lap.

Unlike in race one, though, he could not find a way past and Sztuka could pull away after that. The US Racing driver ultimately won by 3.798 seconds as he took his eighth victory from the last nine races.

Ugochukwu took second as he secured the same position in the championship, while Taponen claimed his third podium of the weekend as he finishes fifth overall at the end of his rookie season.

James Wharton made up three places on the first lap to take fourth but could not find a way past team-mate and fellow Ferrari junior Taponen, with Brando Badoer also finishing close behind in fifth.

The fight for sixth generated the most action in the top 10. Rising from ninth on the grid, Freddie Slater passed Zachary David early on, but David dived back inside him at Soratte at one-third distance, only to go deep and let Slater back past.

David did find a way by at the end of the race, and his US Racing team-mate Ashkay Bohra also capitalised to take seventh on the final tour.

James Egozi was ninth and Alex Powell 10th after falling back from fifth at the start. Former championship leader Arvid Lindblad was 14th, finishing off his strangely muted end to the season.

Race result (20 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Kacper Sztuka US Racing 31m38.781s
2 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema Racing +3.798s
3 Tuukka Taponen Prema Racing +8.098s
4 James Wharton Prema Racing +8.955s
5 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing +9.728s
6 Zachary David US Racing +13.771s
7 Akshay Bohra US Racing +14.759s
8 Freddie Slater Van Amersfoort Racing +15.180s
9 James Egozi PHM Racing +15.369s
10 Alex Powell Prema Racing +16.168s
11 Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing +16.340s
12 Nicola Lacorte Prema Racing +21.198s
13 Matteo Quintarelli R-ace GP +21.872s
14 Arvid Lindblad Prema Racing +23.256s
15 Ariel Elkin Jenzer Motorsport +24.214s
16 Davide Larini PHM Racing +24.590s
17 Finn Wiebelhaus Jenzer Motorsport +26.017s
18 Shimo Zhang Jenzer Motorsport +30.314s
19 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +32.555s
20 Ruiqi Liu US Racing +34.336s
21 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema Racing +34.617s
22 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +36.026s
23 Tom Kalender PHM Racing +36.186s
24 Aurelia Nobels Prema Racing +38.653s
25 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport +39.329s
26 Kabir Anurag US Racing +39.831s
27 Diego De La Torre AKM Motorsport +47.406s
28 Alfio Spina BVM Racing +48.076s
29 Guido Luchetti Airflow Racing +51.339s
30 Giacomo Pedrini PHM Racing +52.465s
31 Raphael Narac R-ace GP +59.847s
32 Kamal Mrad AKM Motorsport +1m18.903s
33 Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing +1m29.648s
Ret Matheus Ferreira Van Amersfoort Racing
Fastest lap: Sztuka, 1m34.194s

Championship standings (best 16 scores)
 Sztuka 315   2 Ugochukwu 280   3 Lindblad 263.5   4 Wharton 205.5   5 Taponen 196   6 Badoer 165   David 144   8 Bohra 113   9 Lacorte 75  10 Al Dhaheri 68