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Wurz holds off Browning to win third F4 UAE race of weekend

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: F4 UAE

Prema’s Charlie Wurz extended his Formula 4 United Arab Emirates lead with a hard-fought victory over Luke Browning in race three of the weekend at Dubai Autodrome.

Wurz moved into the lead on lap four of 13 and had to withhold a race-long challenge from Hitech GP’s Browning.

The gap between them was down to 0.405s on lap nine, but Browning was unable to find a way past. Wurz dealt with the pressure, putting in the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap to extend the gap to over 1.2s at the finish.

Once in front the pair had pulled quickly away from the remainder of the field, finishing over 9s ahead of Xcel Motorsport’s surprise polesitter Ivan Domingues.

The rookie had led from the start, rapidly coming under pressure from Wurz and Aiden Neate (Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema). Domingues dropped back to fourth at the end of lap four but recovered to pass Neate on the following lap to claim the final podium place.

PHM Racing’s Nikita Bedrin charged through the field from 11th on the grid to close to within 0.658s of Domingues at the end.

Neate came home fifth, ahead of Bedrin’s team-mate Taylor Barnard and Hitech’s Alex Dunne. However, Barnard’s pass on Dunne is being investigated by the stewards.

The winner of Saturday’s two races, Rafael Camara, did not figure in the lead battle, gradually dropping back from his third-row grid slot to take ninth, behind Conrad Laursen.

Race results (13 laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Charlie Wurz Prema 26m29.732s
2 Luke Browning Hitech GP +1.209s
3 Ivan Domingues Xcel Motorsport +10.281s
4 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing +10.939s
5 Aiden Neate Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +12.724s
6 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +15.814s
7 Alex Dunne Hitech GP +16.975s
8 Conrad Laursen Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +17.743s
9 Rafael Camara Prema +19.704s
10 James Wharton Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +20.789s
11 Jamie Day Xcel Motorsport +21.442s
12 Miron Pingasov MP Motorsport +21.804s
13 Martinius Stenshorne 3Y by R-ace GP +22.733s
14 Brando Badoer AKM Motorsport +23.147s
15 Suleiman Zanfari MP Motorsport +23.651s
16 Christian Ho MP Motorsport +24.497s
17 Anshul Gandhi Cram-Hitech GP +25.659s
18 Michael Shin JHR Developments +30.806s
19 Ricardo Escotto Cram-Hitech GP +31.766s
20 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi Xcel Motorsport +32.356s
21 Vladislav Ryabov GRS +32.492s
22 Jonas Ried PHM Racing +37.252s
23 Robert De Haan Pinnacle Motorsport +38.487s
24 Ruhaan Alva Mumbai Falcons by Xcel +38.810s
25 Yash Aradhya Mumbai Falcons by Xcel +40.654s
26 Victoria Blohina 3Y by R-ace GP +41.476s
27 Ismoilkhuja Akhmedkhodjaev Xcel Motorsport +49.994s
28 Jef Machiels Pinnacle Motorsport +50.965s
29 Nikhil Bohra 3Y by R-ace GP 1m22.871s
Ret Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak MP Motorsport
Ret Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport
Fastest lap: Wurz, 2m01.151s

Championship standings
Wurz 208   2 Neate 161   3 Inthraphuvasak 143   4 Camara 139   5 Bedrin 137   6 Wharton 119   7 Andrea Kimi Antonelli 117   8 Dunne 103   9 Barnard 69   10 Stenshorne 68