Home Formula 4Italian F4 Sztuka doubles up at Paul Ricard with Italian F4 race two win

Sztuka doubles up at Paul Ricard with Italian F4 race two win

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka continued where he left off in race one to take another dominant victory in the second Italian Formula 4 race at Paul Ricard.

Sztuka made another perfect start, this time from pole, as Prema’s James Wharton alongside him bogged down.

Prema’s Tuukka Taponen threaded his way between the almost stationary Wharton and his slow-starting Prema team-mate Ugo Ugochukwu to shoot into second going into turn one. However, he was unable to provide an answer to Sztuka’s pace up front.

Points leader Arvid Lindblad was another to make a great getaway, drawing alongside Ugochukwu into turn one. Ugochukwu lost momentum as a result, dropping behind him and then US’s Zachary David at turn five.

After a couple of incidents as the pack made its way through turns three and four, resulting in the retirement of Ruiqi Liu and Aurelia Nobels, the safety car was deployed.

Sztuka immediately rebuilt his lead when racing resumed, as Ugochukwu regained his lost position from David and immediately setting after Lindblad in third.

Ugochukwu was right on Lindblad’s tail at the end of lap eight, with Lindblad moving to the inside to block Ugochukwu’s run. The American admitted afterwards that he almost lost the car as he bounced off the kerb on the inside, before switching back to the outside.

His next move came half a lap later into the Mistral chicane, with Lindblad again defending forcefully and running wide on the entry. Ugochukwu was alongside on the run to Signes but tucked back in behind Lindblad before the corner.

On the next lap, Ugochukwu had another quick look at the inside into turn one before getting another run into the chicane.

Lindblad defended, but Ugochukwu was fully alongside on the exit, before pulling off an audacious move around the outside of the fast left-hander at the end of the straight, and managed to hold on into Le Beausset to take the final podium position.

A black-and-white warning flag had been hown to Lindblad his first robust defence, and after the subsequent move his team manager was immediately summoned to race control.

Behind Lindblad, David held off US team-mate Akshay Bohra for fifth. James Egozi headed his PHM Racing team-mate Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi to take seventh.

Race result (16 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Kacper Sztuka US Racing 34m10.033
2 Tuukka Taponen Prema +1.156s
3 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +7.811s
4 Arvid Lindblad Prema +8.890s
5 Zachary David US Racing +10.209s
6 Akshay Bohra US Racing +12.012s
7 James Egozi PHM Racing +12.597s
8 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi PHM Racing +12.985s
9 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +14.736s
10 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +16.594s
11 Alfio Spina BVM Racing +17.336s
12 Raphael Narac R-ace GP +17.917s
13 Niko Lacorte Prema +18.229s
14 Enzo Deligny AKM Motorsport +21.472s
15 Valentin Kluss PHM Racing +23.450s
16 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +24.488s
17 Matheus Ferreira Van Amersfoort Racing +25.029s
18 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport +29.548s
19 Kabir Anurag R-ace GP +29.937s
20 Frederik Lund AKM Motorsport +30.925s
21 Kim Hwarang Jenzer Motorsport +38.114s
22 Ariel Elkin Jenzer Motorsport +38.812s
23 Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing +39.308s
24 Pablo Sarrazin Van Amersfoort Racing +40.754s
25 Ismail Akhmed Van Amersfoort Racing +41.496s
26 Griffin Peebles Jenzer Motorsport +42.232s
27 Guido Luchetti Airflow Racing +45.430s
28 Diego de la Torre AKM Motorspot +46.687s
29 Gabriel Holguin Maffi Racing +51.471s
30 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing +1m10.524s
Ret Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret James Wharton Prema
Ret Alvise Rodella BVM Racing
Ret Matteo Quintarelli R-ace GP
Ret Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Ruiqi Liu US Racing
Ret Aurelia Nobels Prema
Fastest lap: Ugochukwu, 2m05.935s

Championship standings
Lindblad 237.5   2 Ugochukwu 174   3 Sztuka 158   4 Wharton 138.5   5 David 114   6 Badoer 110   7 Taponen 108   8 Bohra 72   9 Lacorte 71   10 Spina 53