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)
|1||Tuukka Taponen||Mumbai Falcons||25m46.337s|
|2||James Wharton||Mumbai Falcons||+1.197s|
|3||Valerio Rinicella||MP Motorsport||+1.899s|
|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|
|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|
|16||Arvid Lindblad||Hitech GP||+14.191s|
|17||Alexander Bolduev||Xcel Motorsport||+14.449s|
|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|
|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