Home News Taponen takes his first F4 UAE win in Kuwait race two

Taponen takes his first F4 UAE win in Kuwait race two

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 UAE

Mumbai Falcons’ Tuukka Taponen claimed his first win of the Formula 4 United Arab Emirates season in the second race of the week at Kuwait Motor Town.

Taponen put the win down to warming up his tyres better than his rivals, as he came from third on the grid for his latest win in F4.

His team-mate James Wharton started on pole, and did not have too much pressure off the line as Taponen had to fend off Alexander Bolduev and then started attacking Ugo Ugochukwu for second.

An off for Kai Daryanani at turn three meant and a separate incident involving Victoria Blokhina led to the safety car being called out before the end of the first lap, and racing did no resume until lap four.

Taponen was able to pass points leader Ugochukwu at turn two on the restart lap, while behind Valerio Rinicella tried passing Noah Lisle at the same corner and also at the last corner. He could not quite do it, and then at the last corner there was further drama as Luciano Morano and Rishon Rajeev had a crash that also involved several other drivers.

The safety car was not required, but there was more drama to come as on the long straight to turn two on the next lap Hiyu Yamakoshi went off on the left and then spun across to the right of the track and into the path of two of R-ace GP’s drivers.

This time it did lead to the safety car being summoned as Yamakoshi’s car was stuck facing backwards on the straight, while the R-ace drivers managed to pit for repairs.

Three laps were spent behind the safety car, leaving the field with three laps to go once green flags waved again. Lisle and Rinicella continued their battle, Noah Stromsted threw away a points finish by going off while battling at the lower end of the top 10, and the frontrunners bided their time on cold tyres rather than try any risky moves.

Taponen had his rubber warmed up by the next lap though, and he passed Wharton for the lead. He was then able to pull away to win by a second, while Ugochukwu briefly got past Wharton by going off-track exiting turn two but then had a wobble that allowed both Wharton and Rinicella through.

An incident after turn one on the penultimate lap sent Lisle down the order, and meant William Macintyre had his best finish yet in sixth.

Race results (11 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Tuukka Taponen Mumbai Falcons 25m46.337s
2 James Wharton Mumbai Falcons +1.197s
3 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +1.899s
4 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +3.038s
5 Valentin Kluss PHM Racing +3.870s
6 William Macintyre Hitech GP +5.096s
7 Hamda Al Qubaisi Yas Heat +5.974s
8 Keanu Al Azhari Xcel Motorsport +6.566s
9 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing +7.678d
10 Bianca Bustamante Prema +8.622s
11 Federico Rifai Xcel Motorsport +9.407s
12 Noah Stromsted PHM Racing +9.792s
13 Sebastian Murray Cram-Hitech GP +11.386s
14 James Piszcyk Hitech GP +11.835s
15 Dion Gowda Carlin +12.480s
16 Arvid Lindblad Hitech GP +14.191s
17 Alexander Bolduev Xcel Motorsport +14.449s
18 Niko Lacorte Prema +14.639s
19 Raphael Narac R-ace GP +14.864s
20 Flavio Olivieri Cram-Hitech GP +16.149s
21 Emely de Heus MP Motorsport +16.314s
22 Kanato Le Hitech GP +16.740s
23 Theodor Jensen Sainteloc Racing +17.175s
24 Jakob Bergmeister PHM Racing +18.494s
25 Matteo Quintarelli Yas Heat +18.805s
26 Zachary David R-ace GP +19.142s
27 Jack Beeton Pinnacle VAR +19.378s
28 Victoria Blokhina R2Race +20.379s
29 Lena Buhler R2Race +20.914s
30 Rishon Rajeev Mumbai Falcons +21.060s
31 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr R-ace GP +21.189s
32 Luciano Morano Sainteloc Racing +22.864s
33 Noah Lisle Xcel Motorsport +1 lap
34 George Zhuravskiy Xcel Motorsport +1 lap
35 Akshay Bohra PHM Racing +1 lap
Ret Alexander Abkhazava R-ace GP
Ret Hiyu Yamakoshi Pinnacle VAR
Ret Kai Daryanani Pinnacle VAR
Fastest lap: Taponen, 1m56.300s

Championship standings
1 Ugochukwu 142   2 Wharton 106   3 Rinicella 101   4 Taponen 101   5 Lindblad 60   6 Kluss 50   7 David 40   8 Nael 31   9 Brando Badoer 28   10 Stromsted 28