Home Formula 4Euro 4 Wharton’s Barcelona win puts him in Euro 4 lead with one race to go

Wharton’s Barcelona win puts him in Euro 4 lead with one race to go

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

James Wharton has moved into the Euro 4 points lead ahead of the title decider by winning race two of the weekend at Barcelona.

Initially it was Akshay Bohra who moved to the top of the championship following the race, but long afterward he was penalised for a collision with the pre-race points leader and it sent Wharton to the top.

US Racing driver Bohra started from pole, with Prema’s Wharton, Ugo Ugochukwu, Tuukka Taponen and Arvid Lindblad in the positions behind. Lining up in 16th place despite crashing at the final car on the formation lap was Lin Hodenius, and due to overtaking two cars to reclaim his grid spot he was penalised 10 seconds.

Wharton made a strong start and took the lead at turn one, with Lindblad trying to follow him past Bohra at turn four but ended up making contact and taking a trip through the gravel. That was the incident that Bohra was penalised 10s for.

Taponen made contact with team-mate Niko Lacorte as he passed him for third, then there was another incident at the start of race two as Gianmarco Pradel and Giacomo Pedrini collided at turn one. Both retired in the run-off, and Pedrini got a two-place grid penalty for race three.

The safety car came out while their cars were retrieved, and Lindblad pitted at the end of the lap.

Racing resumed on lap five and Wharton weaved down the pit straight trying to break the tow to Bohra. The tactic worked, while further back Freddie Slater picked up damage and the Prema driver had to pit.

Wharton held a small but managable gap over Bohra through the rest of the race, while there was more action in the battle for what was third but became second once Bohra’s penalty was applied.

Ugochukwu tried passing Taponen at turn one on lap seven but they made contact and both went across the run-off, with Taponen staying ahead. He tried again on lap 13 and had no luck, then the next lap Taponen covered the inside line down the pit straight and just stayed ahead through the first two corners.

However Ugochukwu was able to get run on Taponen and went around the outside of him at turn three, with Taponen trying to regain the place with a dive down the inside at turn five but failing to do so.

Lacorte shadowed them and finished fourth, with US Racing’s Zachary David finishing fifth after a mid-race pass on team-mate Ruiqi Liu. Bohra’s penalty put him down to sixth.

Wharton takes a two-point lead over Ugochukwu into the finale, with Bohra a further six points behind and Lindblad 22 points off the top but with 50 still available to score.

Race result (17 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 James Wharton Prema 32m10.726s
2 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +4.734s
3 Tuukka Taponen Prema +6.600s
4 Niko Lacorte Prema +7.780s
5 Zachary David US Racing +10.407s
6 Akshay Bohra US Racing +10.743s
7 Ruiqi Liu US Racing +12.292s
8 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing +22.190s
9 Frederik Lund Van Amersfoort Racing +23.553s
10 Arvid Lindblad Prema +25.275s
11 Aurelia Nobels Prema +25.893s
12 Lin Hodenius Van Amersfoort Racing +29.031s
13 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport +36.126s
14 Diego de la Torre AKM Motorsport +37.668s
15 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +1 lap
Ret Freddie Slater Prema
Ret Gianmarco Pradel US Racing
Ret Giacomo Pedrini Van Amersfoort Racing
Fastest lap: Wharton, 1m42.313s

Championship standings
1 Wharton 145   2 Ugochukwu 143   3 Bohra 137   4 Lindblad 123   5 Kacper Sztuka 74.5   6 Taponen 72   7 David 54   8 Badoer 50.5   9 Lacorte 41.5   10 Ivan Domingues 28