Home Formula 4Italian F4 Wharton wins another Italian F4 race at Spa marred by race-ending crash

Wharton wins another Italian F4 race at Spa marred by race-ending crash

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s James Wharton won again in the second Italian Formula 4 race at Spa-Francorchamps, which was shortened by red flags.

As in race one, there was limited green flag action due to major crashes but thankfully all of the drivers involved were able to emerge unharmed.

Wharton started from pole alongside US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka, who tried to pass him around the outside of La Source. They went side-by-side at they exited the corner, while somebody else behind them went off, and they remained wheel-to-wheel down the Kemmel Straight.

Arvid Lindblad tried to make it three-wide as they reached Les Combes but backed out of anything brave, and the order stayed the same. At the end of the lap, Lindblad almost lost third to Raphael Narac at the Bus Stop chicane.

Lindblad had to defend from Narac again down the Kemmel Straight on lap two, then the safety car came out after Guido Luchetti went off at Les Combes and Tina Hausmann broke her front-left wheel.

Racing resumed on lap four and the top three resumed their battle while US Racing’s Akshay Bohra passed Narac for fourth at Le Combes. Sztuka upped the pressure on Wharton lap five, looking to the leader’s outside and then his inside down the Kemmel Straight but unable to find a gap wide enough to get his car into.

Exiting Les Combes there was a crash that required the safety car to come out again, as Van Amersfoort Racing’s Brando Badoer was speared into the gravel by BVM Racing’s Alfio Spina who was able to rejoin the track.

The next restart was on lap seven and Sztuka managed to finally pinch the lead from Wharton by committing to the outside through Les Combes. But almost as soon as he got the move done, the race was red-flagged due to a crash behind.

VAR’s Ivan Domingues had crashed exiting Eau Rouge, hitting the barriers on the right and then his wrecked car spinning back onto the track.

PHM Racing’s James Egozi tried to avoid him by moving left, but drove into R-ace’s Matteo Quintarelli whose car was thrown skywards. Jenzer Motorsport’s Ethan Ischer then crashed right behind them, and several other cars were involved.

With barrier repairs being required there was no possibility of the race restarting, and with the classification being taken back to lap six it meant Wharton was winner and the last-lap crashers were all classified in the race result.

Race result (6 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 James Wharton Prema 18m32.877s
2 Kacper Sztuka US Racing +0.329s
3 Arvid Lindblad Prema +0.752s
4 Akshay Bohra US Racing +1.096s
5 Raphael Narac R-ace GP +1.617s
6 Zachary David US Racing +1.861s
7 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +2.217s
8 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +2.567s
9 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +2.896s
10 Ariel Elkin Jenzer Motorsport +3.320s
11 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing +3.739s
12 Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing +3.996s
13 James Egozi PHM Racing +4.676s
14 Niko Lacorte Prema +4.895s
15 Valentin Kluss PHM Racing +5.290s
16 Matteo Quintarelli R-ace GP +5.418s
17 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +5.798s
18 Kim Hwarang Jenzer Motorsport +6.430s
19 Tuukka Taponen Prema +6.696s
20 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi PHM Racing +7.097s
21 Bianca Bustamante Prema +7.499s
22 Davide Larini AKM Motorsport +8.102s
23 Alfio Spina BVM Racing +8.371s
24 Frederik Lund AKM Motorsport +9.201s
25 Ruiqi Liu US Racing +9.443s
26 Ismail Akhmed Van Amersfoort Racing +10.030s
Ret Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Matheus Ferreira Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport
Ret Guido Luchetti Aitflow Racing
WD Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing
Fastest lap: Wharton, 2m23.938s

Championship standings
Lindblad 154   2 Ugochukwu 99   3 Wharton 93   4 David 82   5 Sztuka 75   6 Lacorte 60   7 Badoer 59   8 Taponen 57   9 Domingues 43    10 Spina 42