Prema’s Ugo Ugochukwu made it two wins from two in the new Euro 4 series with victory on Sunday morning at Mugello.
There was drama before the start as Van Amersfoort Racing’s Brando Badoer came to a stop on track during the formation lap, and another formation lap was added as his car was pushed into the pits.
Further drama occurred when the lights went out, as Prema’s Tuukka Taponen was spun around by VAR’s Ivan Domingues and his car was left stranded across the track.
Up front, the top three led by Arvid Lindblad retained their positions while Kacper Sztuka passed US Racing team-mate Akshay Bohra for fourth and BVM Racing’s Alfio Spina jumped from 15th to 10th before the safety car was called out.
Just after it left the pits, Taponen then got going again and he was allowed to pass the safety car and chase down the pack. Domingues meanwhile copped himself a 120-second penalty as at turn seven he diverted down an escape road that cut out the second half of the track and led directly into pitlane.
He headed there to change his front wing, while Taponen eventually reached the pitlane too and he changed his tyres.
The restart took place on lap three and Bohra passed Sztuka then joined the top three in going wheel-to-wheel into the first braking zone. He went from fourth to second, and Ugochukwu took the lead from poleman Lindblad who dropped from first to fourth behind Prema team-mate James Wharton.
Zachary David also passed Sztuka after he almost went off, and on the next lap Jack Beeton moved ahead of Gianmarco Pradel for ninth.
Ugochukwu and Bohra traded fastest laps until the halfway point of the 16-lap race, after which Bohra closed in. He was 0.3s behind on lap 11 but could not stay that close, and double waved yellow flags at several corners hurt his chances of overtaking too.
Victory went to Ugochukwu by 1.126s, and five seconds back was Wharton after holding off several attacks from Lindblad.
Contact between Nandhavhud Bhirombhakdi and Diego de la Torre that sent the latter spinning into the gravel was the cause of the first double waved yellows.
Sztuka went off and dropped to ninth after Niko Lacorte made a diving move on him for sixth, then Lacorte spun into the gravel on the penultimate lap which handed sixth place to Rashid Al Dhaheri.
Race result (16 laps)
|2||Akshay Bohra||US Racing||+1.126s|
|5||Zachary David||US Racing||+15.104s|
|6||Rashid Al Dhaheri||Prema||+15.871s|
|7||Jack Beeton||Van Amersfoort Racing||+16.877s|
|8||Kacper Sztuka||US Racing||+17.923s|
|9||Gianmarco Pradel||US Racing||+21.127s|
|10||Alfio Spina||BVM Racing||+24.977s|
|11||Raphael Narac||R-ace GP||+25.534s|
|12||Pablo Sarrazin||Van Amersfoort Racing||+25.627s|
|13||Frederik Lund||Van Amersfoort Racing||+25.954s|
|14||Griffin Peebles||BVM Racing||+26.606s|
|15||Ruiqi Liu||US Racing||+26.862s|
|16||Davide Larini||AKM Motorsport||+29.134s|
|17||Matteo Quintarelli||R-ace GP||+32.200s|
|19||Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi||PHM Racing||+51.145s|
|20||Ismail Akhmed||Van Amersfoort Racing||+51.445s|
|21||Tina Hausmann||AKM Motorsport||+1m10.694s|
|23||Ivan Domingues||Van Amersfoort Racing||+1 lap|
|24||Niko Lacorte||Prema||+2 laps|
|25||Diego de la Torre||AKM Motorsport||+5 laps|
|DNS||Brando Badoer||Van Amersfoort Racing|
|Fastest lap: Ugochukwu, 1m50.172s