Home News Taponen on top again in F4 UAE’s second pre-season test day

Taponen on top again in F4 UAE’s second pre-season test day

by Ida Wood

Mumbai Falcons’ Tuukka Taponen picked up from where he left off on Monday by topping the second day of Formula 4 UAE pre-season testing at Dubai Autodrome.

R-ace GP’s Zachary David was the first driver to post a laptime on Wednesday, and he traded top spot with Hitech GP’s William Macintyre and PHM Racing’s Noah Stromsted through the first 24 minutes of the opening session.

They brought the pace down to 2m03.635s, and there was no change at the top for 15 minutes until David set a 2m03.104s.

A flurry of improvements across the field as the session went into its final 15 minutes led to Xcel Motorsport’s Noah Lisle going fastest, then PHM’s Valentin Kluss who became the first driver of the day into the 2m02s.

Stromsted pipped him by 0.012 seconds, but he was bettered by Hitech’s Kanato Le to the tune of 0.002s a minute later.

R-ace’s Jesse Carrasquedo Jr was next to lower the pace, by 0.034s, and then MP Motorsport’s Valerio Rinicella whose 2m02.205s lap would go unbeaten to the end. He finished 0.067s up on Kluss, with Carrasquedo 0.192s behind and with the top 17 spread by 0.9s.

Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael was the early pacesetter in session two, before being usurped by David. Pinnacle VAR’s Brando Badoer was the first into the 2m03s, knocking 1.413s off David’s benchmark, and then single-seater returnee Muhammad Ibrahim shaved 0.042s off his session-topping effort.

The improvements continued to come in through the session’s first 10 minutes, with Badoer’s next lap putting him back ahead, then Taponen [pictured above during his 2022 F4 campaign] broke into the 2m02s.

He improved three further times to bring the pace down to 2m02.224s, and half an hour later Prema’s Ugo Ugochukwu went fastest. Taponen was on track with him, and returned to first place with the first sub-2m02s lap of the test.

Session two ended with Taponen on top by 0.263s over Ugochukwu, with Ibrahim 0.334s back in third and Rinicella in fourth but one of 14 drivers who did not better their best laptime from session one. Also joining session two was Kirill Smal with MP, but he was absent again for session three.

Pre-season testing ended with a session in which only Hitech’s Arvid Lindblad improved their pace.

Rinicella topped the times with a 2m02.771s lap, putting him 0.099s up on Stromsted, and the top 14 were covered by a second on pace.

Nael had been first to lap once again, with Badoer, David and Taponen all taking turns on top before Nael returned there. Ugochukwu spent a short spell ahead before Taponen improved, and Stromsted was then the first into the 2m02s.

After Rinicella went fastest, testing was brought to an early end by red flags.

Carlin ran two cars for Dion Gowda and Fernando Barrichello, and the team is expected to announce its participation in the series imminently.

Test day two results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Tuukka Taponen Mumbai Falcons 2m01.916s 53
2 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema 2m02.179s +0.263s 53
3 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport 2m02.205s +0.289s 57
4 Muhammad Ibrahim Mumbai Falcons 2m02.250s +0.334s 52
5 Valentin Kluss PHM Racing 2m02.272s +0.356s 50
6 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr R-ace GP 2m02.397s +0.481s 51
7 Kanato Le Hitech GP 2m02.483s +0.567s 52
8 Noah Stromsted PHM Racing 2m02.485s +0.569s 52
9 Zachary David R-ace GP 2m02.487s +0.571s 56
10 William Macintyre Hitech GP 2m02.583s +0.667s 49
11 Alexander Bolduev Xcel Motorsport 2m02.631s +0.715s 63
12 Hamda Al Qubaisi Yas Heat 2m02.740s +0.824s 61
13 Niko Lacorte Prema 2m02.746s +0.830s 54
14 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing 2m02.832s +0.916s 53
15 Dion Gowda Carlin 2m02.838s +0.922s 59
16 James Wharton Mumbai Falcons 2m02.877s +0.961s 54
17 Brando Badoer Pinnacle VAR 2m02.899s +0.983s 55
18 Arvid Lindblad Hitech GP 2m02.948s +1.032s 62
19 James Piszcyk Hitech GP 2m03.029s +1.113s 52
20 Flavio Olivieri Cram-Hitech GP 2m03.038s +1.122s 55
21 Lena Buhler R2Race 2m03.053s +1.137s 56
22 Noah Lisle Xcel Motorsport 2m03.085s +1.169s 62
23 Jakob Bergmeister PHM Racing 2m03.103s +1.187s 51
24 Federico Rifai Xcel Motorsport 2m03.105s +1.189s 61
25 Kirill Smal MP Motorsport 2m03.209s +1.293s 22
26 Rashid Al Dhaheri R-ace GP 2m03.273s +1.357s 58
27 Luciano Morano Sainteloc Racing 2m03.299s +1.383s 57
28 Emely de Heus MP Motorsport 2m03.308s +1.392s 60
29 Akshay Bohra PHM Racing 2m03.376s +1.460s 56
30 George Zhuravskiy Xcel Motorsport 2m03.404s +1.488s 63
31 Victoria Blokhina R2Race 2m03.633s +1.717s 59
32 Matteo Quintarelli Yas Heat 2m03.633s +1.717s 61
33 Keanu Al Azhari Yas Heat 2m03.661s +1.745s 57
34 Bianca Bustamante Prema 2m03.701s +1.785s 54
35 Alexander Abkhazava R-ace GP 2m03.802s +1.886s 60
36 Jack Beeton Pinnacle VAR 2m03.833s +1.917s 57
37 Theodor Jensen Sainteloc Racing 2m03.838s +1.922s 54
38 Sebastian Murray Cram-Hitech GP 2m04.021s +2.105s 54
39 Fernando Barrichello Carlin 2m04.167s +2.251s 58
40 Kai Daryanani Pinnacle VAR 2m04.727s +2.811s 58