Home Formula 4Euro 4 Wharton wins the third Euro 4 race at Mugello

Wharton wins the third Euro 4 race at Mugello

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s James Wharton took a lights-to-flag win in the third Euro 4 race at Mugello as Ugo Ugochukwu extended his points lead.

The race started cleanly, with Ugochukwu coming under pressure from Prema team-mate Arvid Lindblad. It took a few attempts but he made it past him on lap one, only for Ugochukwu to reclaim second at the first braking zone of lap two.

Wharton was already two seconds up the road, and controlled the pace thereon with his finishing margin of 1.248 seconds the closest he and Ugochukwu were the whole race.

Lindblad thereon had US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka in his mirrors, but did not have to defend until lap 13 of 18. Over the next few laps he fended off Sztuka several times, earning himself the black-and-white flag for his defences, and finished almost seven seconds behind Ugochukwu in third place.

Fifth went to Van Amersfoort Racing’s Ivan Domingues, who started ninth but made three passes on lap one. He had a gap to make up on US’s Akshay Bohra, and on lap 11 finally started to attack him. Bohra locked up while defending but stayed ahead, then five laps later he again kept Domingues at bay through the first two turns.

A few corners later Domingues made his move though, in clinical fashion, and immediately pulled away. He pulled a gap of 3.88s in the final two-and-a-half laps.

Niko Lacorte beat Prema team-mate Tuukka Taponen to seventh in a photo finish by 0.010s, with Taponen having started 14th and ended lap one in 15th. But he had frontrunning pace, setting the provisional fastest lap on lap six, and entered the top 10 on lap 10.

On lap 12 he moved past VAR’s Brando Badoer, who had missed race two due a transmission failure, with an aggressive move at the first braking zone, cleared team-mate Rashid Al Dhaheri at the turns four/five chicane on the next lap by committing to the outside line and from lap 15 onwards was side-by-side with Lacorte at every opportunity.

US’s Ruiqi Liu demoted Badoer to 10th on the penultimate lap, Al Dhaheri was 11th and Gianmarco Pradel was 12th after losing out in double moves to Taponen and Badoer.

VAR’s Jack Beeton retired early on following an off at the final corner, and Prema’s Aurelia Nobels finished 20th after spinning at the same place. Both avoided being hit by other cars.

Race result (18 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 James Wharton Prema 33m30.094s
2 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +1.248s
3 Arvid Lindblad Prema +8.105s
4 Kacper Sztuka US Racing +9.217s
5 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing +13.079s
6 Akshay Bohra US Racing +16.959s
7 Niko Lacorte Prema +17.805s
8 Tuukka Taponen Prema +17.815s
9 Ruiqi Liu US Racing +19.528s
10 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing +19.909s
11 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +20.666s
12 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +21.371s
13 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi PHM Racing +21.921s
14 Frederik Lund Van Amersfoort Racing +28.236s
15 Pablo Sarrazin Van Amersfoort Racing +33.232s
16 Davide Larini AKM Motorsport +34.189s
17 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport +35.319s
18 Raphael Narac R-ace GP +38.751s
19 Matteo Quintarelli R-ace GP +52.396s
20 Aurelia Nobels Prema +52.421s
21 Diego de la Torre AKM Motorsport +1m01.707s
22 Zachary David US Racing +1m07.604s
23 Griffin Peebles BVM Racing +1m14.011s
Ret Alfio Spina BVM Racing
Ret Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Ismail Akhmed Van Amersfoort Racing
Fastest lap: David, 1m50.647s

Championship standings
1 Ugochukwu 68   2 Wharton 48   3 Bohra 41   4 Lindblad 39   5 Sztuka 34   6 David 16   7 Lacorte 16   8 Domingues 10   9 Al Dhaheri 8   10 Taponen 8