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Charlie Wurz crowned F4 UAE champion with a race to spare

by Craig Woollard

Charlie Wurz has clinched the Formula 4 UAE title with a race to spare after issues for early leader and Prema team-mate Rafael Camara at Yas Marina Circuit.

Points leader Wurz came into the race with the possibility of being crowned if he outscored Camara by three points and didn’t lose more than eight points to Aiden Neate and 17 to Nikita Bedrin.

The latter two dropped out of contention on lap one, with Bedrin retiring and Neate dropping to 25th, necessitating the use of the safety car.

Camara was leading from pole at the time ahead of Wurz and Alex Dunne. The Brazilian led away at the restart and Dunne got by Wurz shortly after, making it look like a straight shootout between the pair in the finale.

That was before Camara himself dropped well down the order halfway through the 25-minute race and took to the pits, leaving Dunne leading Wurz.

The pair stayed in that order, and, with second place and all three of his rivals not scoring, Wurz was crowned champion.

Dunne won with a comfortable advantage, and Xcel Motorsport’s Ivan Domingues finished third after passing James Wharton late on.

Conrad Laursen beat Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak in the closing stages for fifth, while Suleiman Zanfari, Jamie Day, Miron Pingasov and Jonas Ried rounded out the top 10 on track after a late pass. Day climbed from 15th to eighth, passing Pingasov on the penultimate lap, but a corner-cutting penalty dropped him back to 13th.

Neate recovered to 19th, while Taylor Barnard could only take 21st after dropping down the order early on having run fourth after the safety car period. Vladislav Ryabov set the fastest lap but it was voided for corner cutting. Having started 29th and last, Robert de Haan finished 13th.

In addition to Bedrin and Camara as the high-profile retirees, Anshul Gandhi pulled off shortly after Camara, Valerio Rinicella went missing from the timing screens a lap later and Ismail Akhmedkhodjaev also pulled out.

Race results (13 laps)

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Alex Dunne Hitech GP
2 Charlie Wurz Prema +3.154s
3 Ivan Domingues Xcel Motorsport +7.371s
4 James Wharton Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +10.106s
5 Conrad Laursen Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +10.773s
6 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak MP Motorsport +13.090s
7 Suleiman Zanfari MP Motorsport +15.958s
8 Miron Pingasov MP Motorsport +17.364s
9 Jonas Ried PHM Racing +18.357s
10 Nikhil Bohra 3Y by R-ace GP +18.831s
11 Christian Ho MP Motorsport +19.948s
12 Robert De Haan Pinnacle Motorsport +20.424s
13 Jamie Day Xcel Motorsport +21.337s
14 Martinius Stenshorne 3Y by R-ace GP +21.477s
15 Michael Shin JHR Developments +26.900s
16 Ricardo Escotto Cram-Hitech GP +27.440s
17 Vladislav Ryabov GRS +28.947s
18 Sohil Shah Mumbai Falcons by Xcel +30.047s
19 Aiden Neate Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +30.124s
20 Max Arkhangelskiy 3Y by R-ace GP +30.573s
21 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +30.711s
22 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi Xcel Motorsport +35.374s
23 Kyle Kumaran Mumbai Falcons by Xcel +36.309s
24 Jef Machiels Pinnacle Motorsport +42.201s
Ret Ismoilkhuja Akhmedkhodjaev Xcel Motorsport
Ret Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport
Ret Anshul Gandhi Cram-Hitech GP
Ret Rafael Camara Prema
Ret Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing
Fastest lap: Dunne, 1m55.659s

Championship standings
Wurz 251   2 Camara 208   3 Neate 199   4 Bedrin 190   5 Inthraphuvasak 161   6 Dunne 153   7 Wharton 143  8 Andrea Kimi Antonelli 117   9 Barnard 83   10 Stenshorne 71