Ugo Ugochukwu and James Wharton shared the pole positions in qualifying for Formula 4 United Arab Emirates’ second round in a row at Kuwait Motor Town.
Arvid Lindblad was first to the top in Q1, then PHM Racing’s Valentin Kluss set a 1m56.175s benchmark.
That was bettered by MP Motorsport’s Valerio Rinicella, who posted a 1m55.851s lap, but he only spent 40 seconds at the top of the timesheet before Hitech GP driver Lindblad improved again to set a 1m55.072s.
Hiyu Yamakoshi was third of a second back in second place, then going into the final five minutes of the session he was shuffled down to fourth by Mumbai Falcons’ Tuukka Taponen and R-ace GP’s Zachary David.
Lindblad failed to improve on his next lap and Yamakoshi returned to second place by cutting the gap to pole down to 0.086s, but another slower lap from Lindblad then sent him down to fourth place with three minutes to go as Prema’s Ugochukwu went fastest by almost half a second over PHM’s Noah Stromsted, with Mumbai Falcons’ Wharton 0.810s back in third.
When the chequered flag waved it was Ugochukwu who was still on top, with the only driver in the top 10 initially to improve their pace being Keanu Al Azhari in eighth place.
But the frontrunners saved it until the very end, with Ugochukwu’s last lap – a 1m54.135s – securing him pole by a huge 0.587s over Wharton who also improved. Stromsted qualified third despite going no faster, while R-ace duo David and Jesse Carrasquedo Jr rose to fourth and fifth. Lindblad and Rinicella were shuffled down to sixth and seventh,
Kluss was the early pacesetter in Q2, with R-ace’s Raphael Narac and David then going one-two as the session went into its final nine minutes.
Lindblad was the first driver to lap sub-1m55s a minute later, with Al Azhari jumping up to second place.
Rinicella then set a 1m54.556s to better Lindblad, with Alexander Abkhazava a surprise third place.
Yamakoshi got within 0.219s of Rinicella to move provisionally onto the front row, then both were sent back two places as Taponen and Ugochukwu lowered the pace.
Just a few seconds later, Wharton knocked 0.139s off Taponen’s benchmark and then the session was stopped by red flags after it appeared Yamakoshi got into trouble.
There was four-and-a-half minutes on the clock when Q2 restarted, and not too many improvements as the final laps were set.
The top four went unchanged, with Wharton securing pole ahead of Taponen, Ugochukwu and Rinicella who did actually improve on his final lap.
Carrasquedo qualified fifth, David improved to take sixth and Yamakoshi was shuffled down to seventh ahead of late improver Lindblad, Abkhazava and Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael.
Stromsted could only qualify 12th,
1 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema 1m54.135s
2 James Wharton Mumbai Falcons +0.587s
3 Noah Stromsted PHM Racing +0.589s
4 Zachary David R-ace GP +0.741s
5 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr R-ace GP +0.870s
6 Arvid Lindblad Hitech GP +0.937s
7 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +0.980s
8 Hiyu Yamakoshi Pinnacle VAR +1.023s
9 Tuukka Taponen Mumbai Falcons +1.049s
10 Kanato Le Hitech GP +1.096s
1 Wharton 1m54.082s
2 Taponen +0.139s
3 Ugochukwu +0.226s
4 Rinicella +0.436s
5 Carrasquedo +0.527s
6 David +0.616s
7 Yamakoshi +0.693s
8 Lindblad +0.795s
9 Alexander Abkhazava R-ace GP +0.857s
10 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing +0.958s