Ugo Ugochukwu won the first race of the Italian Formula 4 finale at Vallelunga to halt Kacper Sztuka’s victory streak and keep his title hopes alive.
From third on the grid, McLaren junior Ugochukwu got the best getaway of the leading drivers, immediately moving up into second place before passing points leader Sztuka around the outside of the double-apex Cimini right-handers.
His Prema team-mate Tuukka Taponen also got past Sztuka into the Tornantino harpin, while behind, Nikhil Bohra was pushed into the gravel by Brando Badoer as they fought over fifth.
In the second half of the race, Ugochukwu was able to start pulling away while Sztuka remained on the tail of Taponen.
Ugochukwu clinched his third win of the season – and first since round three at Spa-Francorchamps in May – by 1.5 seconds while Taponen held off Sztuka by less than three tenths.
With that, Ugochukwu moves from 18 points behind Sztuka to just eight, but with only the drivers’ best 16 scores counting towards the championship, dropped scores now come into effect. Ugochukwu is therefore actually 11 points behind, while Arvid Lindblad – who finished sixth – is 9.5 away from Sztuka.
Zachary David was a relatively lonely fourth, with James Wharton holding off Lindblad for fifth.
Ariel Elkin came from 12th to finish on Lindblad’s tail in seventh for Jenzer Motorsport, beating Badoer, Nicola Lacorte and James Egozi.
Race result (20 laps)
|1||Ugo Ugochukwu||Prema Racing||31m38.218s|
|2||Tuukka Taponen||Prema Racing||+1.547s|
|3||Kacper Sztuka||US Racing||+1.829s|
|4||Zachary David||US Racing||+3.828s|
|5||James Wharton||Prema Racing||+6.741s|
|6||Arvid Lindblad||Prema Racing||+8.050s|
|7||Ariel Elkin||Jenzer Motorsport||+8.653s|
|8||Brando Badoer||Van Amersfoort Racing||+8.842s|
|9||Nicola Lacorte||Prema Racing||+9.763s|
|10||James Egozi||PHM Racing||+10.551s|
|11||Gianmarco Pradel||US Racing||+14.710s|
|12||Matheus Ferreira||Van Amersfoort Racing||+15.952s|
|13||Jack Beeton||Van Amersfoort Racing||+16.782s|
|14||Alex Powell||Prema Racing||+17.585s|
|15||Freddie Slater||Van Amersfoort Racing||+18.061s|
|16||Raphael Narac||R-ace GP||+18.822s|
|17||Rashid Al Dhaheri||Prema Racing||+19.319s|
|18||Davide Larini||PHM Racing||+20.440s|
|19||Matteo Quintarelli||R-ace GP||+20.916s|
|20||Alfio Spina||BVM Racing||+22.260s|
|21||Shimo Zhang||Jenzer Motorsport||+27.212s|
|22||Aurelia Nobels||Prema Racing||+29.759s|
|23||Ethan Ischer||Jenzer Motorsport||+30.564s|
|24||Giacomo Pedrini||PHM Racing||+31.718s|
|25||Tina Hausmann||AKM Motorsport||+31.883s|
|26||Kabir Anurag||US Racing||+32.519s|
|27||Tom Kalender||PHM Racing||+33.357s|
|28||Viktoria Blokhina||PHM Racing||+33.958s|
|29||Finn Wiebelhaus||Jenzer Motorsport||+35.766s|
|30||Diego De La Torre||AKM Motorsport||+46.889s|
|31||Guido Luchetti||Airflow Racing||+51.107s|
|32||Ruiqi Liu||US Racing||+1m05.454s|
|33||Kamal Mrad||AKM Motorsport||+1 lap|
|Ret||Akshay Bohra||US Racing|
|Fastest lap: Badoer, 1m34.223s