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Ugochukwu quickest at Imola in Italian F4 testing

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s Ugo Ugochukwu was fastest in a post-season Italian Formula 4 test at Imola this week.

The entry list was split into four groups for the Tuesday to Thursday test, with the first two running on the first day-and-a-half and the other two groups running in sessions on the next day-and-a-half.

Rashid Al Dhaheri started the test on top, setting the pace in Group A’s first two sessions for AKM Motorsport. Brando Badoer did the same for Van Amersfoort Racing in Group B, but was two thirds of a second slower than Al Dhaheri.

Second fastest overall on Tuesday morning was junior karter Griffin Peebles, also driving for AKM.

Conditions worsened in the afternoon, when Spanish F4 champion Nikola Tsolov set the pace for R-ace GP. There were also two drivers running with Real Racing and SG Motors in first-generation F4 cars.

Badoer was fastest in Group B’s afternoon sessions, which were supposed to be attended by BVM Racing and VAR’s Noah Stromsted. The latter pulled out however after his heavy crash in the Spanish F4 finale last weekend.

Al Dhaheri and Tsolov were top again in Group A’s Wednesday sessions, with Badoer also continuing his session-topping form. In the final Group B session, Jenzer Motorsport’s Kim Hwarang wa fastest by 0.080 seconds over Alpine Academy affiliate Matheus Ferreira.

Prema and US Racing turned up in the afternoon, with each team in a different group and Al Dhaheri joining Prema’s line-up.

New Ferrari junior Tuukka Taponen led Prema team-mate Kean Nakamura Berta in the first Group C session, with Red Bull junior Arvid Linblad leading another Prema one-two over Ugochukwu in the second session. There was 0.811s between the top two there, but only 0.010s between Ugochukwu, Taponen, James Wharton and Nakamura Berta.

US’s Zachary David was fastest in the first Group D session, with Raphael Narac continuing with R-ace after also running in the earlier groups, and BVM Racing’s Alfio Spina led David in the second session.

The track got considerably faster again for Thursday, and Ugochukwu brought the pace down into the 1m46s. He was fastest in both of his morning sessions, and by just 0.055s over Lindblad in the second one.

Andrea Frassineti was quickest for BVM in Group D’s penultimate session, then David returned to the top.

Everyone was put together for a lengthy afternoon session in which Taponen moved into second place overall in the test by topping the timesheet.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema 1m46.203s 109
2 Tuukka Taponen Prema 1m46.249s +0.046s 106
3 Arvid Lindblad Prema 1m46.258s +0.055s 108
4 Kean Nakamura Berta Prema 1m46.311s +0.108s 104
5 James Wharton Prema 1m46.415s +0.212s 108
6 Zachary David US Racing 1m46.772s +0.569s 111
7 Niko Lacorte Prema 1m46.901s +0.698s 106
8 Alfio Spina BVM Racing 1m47.017s +0.814s 97
9 Rashid Al Dhaheri AKM Motorsport 1m47.116s +0.913s 198
10 Andrea Frassineti BVM Racing 1m47.181s +0.978s 107
11 Akshay Bohra US Racing 1m47.548s +1.345s 115
12 Ruiqi Liu US Racing 1m47.599s +1.396s 115
13 Griffin Peebles AKM Motorsport 1m47.700s +1.497s 93
14 Edoardo Borelli AKM Motorsport 1m47.775s +1.572s 78
15 Brando Badoer VAR 1m47.802s +1.599s 95
16 Ivan Domingues VAR 1m47.974s +1.771s 105
17 Frederik Lund US Racing 1m48.134s +1.931s 99
18 Riccardo Ianiello AS Motorsport 1m48.151s +1.948s 102
19 Raphael Narac R-ace GP 1m48.899s +2.696s 190
20 Kim Hwarang Jenzer Motorsport 1m48.960s +2.757s 72
21 Laura Camps Torras Iron Lynx 1m49.313s +3.110s 112
22 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport 1m49.736s +3.533s 90
23 Matheus Ferreira VAR 1m50.382s +4.179s 104
24 Adam Fitzgerald Jenzer Motorsport 1m50.402s +4.199s 64
25 #8 RRT Real Racing 1m51.189s +4.986s 89
26 Nikola Tsolov R-ace GP 1m55.239s +9.036s 75
27 Roberto Arne SG Motors 1m58.837s +12.634s 47