Home Formula 4Euro 4 Sztuka fastest in practice for second Euro 4 round at Monza

Sztuka fastest in practice for second Euro 4 round at Monza

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Round two of the new Euro 4 series for Formula 4 cars is underway, and it was US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka who set the pace in free practice at Monza.

The 30-car field got two sessions lasting 40 minutes each, with the first taking place in the morning on a rain-soaked track.

New Red Bull junior Enzo Deligny, a late addition to the grid with AKM Motorsport, laid down the first benchmark: a 2m13.785s.

BVM Racing’s Alfio Spina beat it with a 2m11.722s, then US Racing’s Gianmarco Pradel set a 2m11.094s.

After 10 minutes his team-mate Akshay Bohra had lapped in the 2m09s but was only briefly on top before Prema’s James Wharton set a 2m09.717s to lead him by 0.057 seconds.

Deligny returned to first place by going almost a second faster, and two laps later Wharton then knocked another quarter of a second off the pace. US Racing’s Zachary David got the closest to his 2m08.294s benchmark, lapping 0.096s lower, before Wharton improved again to 2m07.496s with 10 minutes remaining.

Pradel and then Prema’s Tuukka Taponen held second place, before the order got shaken up with four minutes to go as a flurry of improvements came in.

Prema duo Ugo Ugochukwu and Arvid Lindblad both outpaced Wharton, while Taponen was shuffled down to eighth place. But he was improving and he then went joint fastest with Ugochukwu as both set 2m07.097s. Taponen took first place on dint of crossing the line to set his time a second before Ugochukwu did, then the session was ended early by red flags.

Monza was dry by the time FP2 began in the afternoon, so laptimes were considerably faster.

Sztuka and Prema’s debuting Freddie Slater disputed first place early on as they lapped in the 1m53s, then red flags were out. Nobody improved their pace following the restart before the session was stopped again, meaning most of the track activity came in the final eight minutes.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Brando Badoer got within 0.027s of Sztuka’s long-standing 1m53.257s benchmark, which Slater surpassed by 0.075s with six minutes to go.

A minute later he was down to fifth as Wharton lowered the pace to 1m52.659s, with Badoer just 0.079s slower than him, and he improved again to 1m52.470s.

Sztuka was 0.092s off the top in second place until the chequered flag, when he went fastest by 0.053s. A similarly late improvement put Taponen third ahead of Lindblad and Slater.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Kacper Sztuka US Racing 1m52.417s 27
2 James Wharton Prema 1m52.470s +0.053s 26
3 Tuukka Taponen Prema 1m52.637s +0.220s 26
4 Arvid Linblad Prema 1m52.670s +0.253s 25
5 Freddie Slater Prema 1m52.683s +0.266s 28
6 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing 1m52.738s +0.321s 27
7 Zachary David US Racing 1m52.787s +0.370s 26
8 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema 1m52.815s +0.398s 26
9 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing 1m52.929s +0.512s 27
10 Akshay Bohra US Racing 1m53.066s +0.649s 27
11 Enzo Deligny AKM Motorsport 1m53.160s +0.743s 28
12 Alfio Spina BVM Racing 1m53.185s +0.768s 28
13 Ruiqi Liu US Racing 1m53.235s +0.818s 26
14 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema 1m53.328s +0.911s 26
15 Griffin Peebles BVM Racing 1m53.369s +0.952s 27
16 Pablo Sarrazin Van Amersfoort Racing 1m53.486s +1.069s 29
17 Niko Lacorte Prema 1m53.570s +1.153s 26
18 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi PHM Racing 1m53.721s +1.304s 24
19 Giacomo Pedrini PHM Racing 1m53.774s +1.357s 30
20 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing 1m54.030s +1.613s 28
21 Davide Larini AKM Motorsport 1m54.035s +1.618s 26
22 Aurelia Nobels Prema 1m54.185s +1.768s 25
23 Flavio Olivieri Cram Motorsport 1m54.287s +1.870s 27
24 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport 1m54.326s +1.909s 30
25 Kamal Mrad AKM Motorsport 1m54.676s +2.259s 25
26 Diego de la Torre AKM Motorsport 1m55.127s +2.710s 28
27 Ismail Akhmed Van Amersfoort Racing 1m55.247s +2.830s 28
28 Kai Daryanani Cram Motorsport 1m55.369s +2.952s 28
29 Frederik Lund Van Amersfoort Racing 1m55.496s +3.079s 25
30 Rafael Modonese Van Amersfoort Racing 1m55.809s +3.392s 28