Home News Taponen earns clean sweep of F4 wins at Dubai

Taponen earns clean sweep of F4 wins at Dubai

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: F4 UAE

Mumbai Falcons’ Tuukka Taponen resisted pressure from Keanu Al Azhari to complete a clean sweep of victories at Dubai Autodrome.

The Ferrari junior heads to the final round of the Formula 4 United Arab Emirates season in Abu Dhabi next week just six points behind team-mate and championship leader James Wharton, who finished third in Dubai race three.

A second formation lap was needed for the race as several cars were out of their grid position. As a consequence, race length was reduced by three minutes to 20 minutes plus one lap. On the first lap, R-ace GP’s Jesse Carrasquedo Jr and Cram Motorsport’s Flavio Olivieri had to be pushed to the pitlane as they could not get going from the grid.

Taponen comfortably led away from pole with an excellent getaway when the race did start, and behind him Yas Heat Academy’s Al Azhari momentarily fell behind Hitech GP’s Arvin Lindblad and Wharton. However, he committed to the inside in the first corner and regained second place.

Al Azhari soon closed the gap Taponen had built in the opening lap, and started to put pressure on the Finn. Meanwhile Wharton battled Lindblad for third, and got by the Red Bull junior before the end of lap three.

MP Motorsport’s Valerio Rinicella benefited from Wharton’s move and also passed Lindblad. However, the latter would retake the place a lap later.

Also on lap three, PHM Racing’s Akshay Bohra overtook Hitech’s James Piszcyk for seventh, and went on to attempt a move on Prema’s Ugo Ugochuwku. It soon became a five-car battle as Pinnacle VAR’s Luca Badoer and Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael joined the fight.

Nael eventually advanced them all to finish the race in sixth place, from 16th on the grid.

As the race progressed, Taponen continued to fend off Al Azhari and they soon had Wharton on their tail. The trio would we split by 0.740 seconds at the finish, with Al Azhari never quite close enough to go have a strong attempt at passing Taponen.

Al Azhari still got to celebrate his first championship podium as Taponen made it three wins out of three, but with no reason to smile was former points leader Ugochukwu who finished 10th and is now a distant third in the standings.

Race results (11 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Tuukka Taponen Mumbai Falcons 22m42.224s
2 Keanu Al Azhari Yas Heat +0.349s
3 James Wharton Mumbai Falcons +0.740s
4 Arvid Lindblad Hitech GP +4.969s
5 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +7.871s
6 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing +8.116s
7 Akshay Bohra PHM Racing +9.329s
8 Brando Badoer Pinnacle VAR +9.727s
9 James Piszcyk Hitech GP +12.171s
10 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +12.491s
11 Kanato Le Hitech GP +12.824s
12 Pedro Clerot MP Motorsport +13.349s
13 Dion Gowda Carlin +14.505s
14 William Macintyre Hitech GP +16.182s
15 Valentin KIuss PHM Racing +17.815s
16 Niko Lacorte Prema +18.281s
17 Federico Rifai Xcel Motorsport +18.532s
18 Alexander Abkhazava R-ace GP +19.113s
19 Noah Lisle Xcel Motorsport +19.779s
20 Matteo Quintarelli Yas Heat +22.412s
21 Bianca Bustamante Prema +24.325s
22 Hamda Al Qubaisi Yas Heat +24.971s
23 Noah Stromsted PHM Racing +25.479s
24 Sebastian Murray Cram Motorsport +26.299s
25 Raphael Narac R-ace GP +26.793s
26 Rishon Rajeev Mumbai Falcons +30.087s
27 Victoria Blokhina R2Race +31.604s
28 Flavio Olivieri Cram Motorsport +32.123s
29 Kari Daryanani Pinnacle VAR +47.579s
30 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr R-ace GP +1m14.469s
31 George Zhuravskiy Xcel Motorsport +1m20.070s
32 Lena Buhler R2Race +1m25.819s
33 Zachary David R-ace GP +1m29.882s
34 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi PHM Racing +1m31.267s
35 Luciano Morano Sainteloc Racing +1m34.67s6
NC Fernando Barrichello Carlin +1 lap
NC Ismail Akhmed MP Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Theodor Jensen Sainteloc Racing
Ret Jack Beeton Pinnacle VAR
Ret Alexander Bolduev Xcel Motorsport
Fastest lap: Wharton, 2m03.057s

Championship standings
1 Wharton 182   2 Taponen 176   3 Ugochukwu 145   4 Rinicella 145   5 Lindblad 82   6 David 59   7 Kluss 50   8 Badoer 47   9 Stromsted 43   10 Nael 39