Race 3 goes to Wharton, Ugochukwu finishes second and heads to Monza as the Euro 4 Championship leader

Published on Sunday, July 9, 2023

Race 3 goes to Wharton, Ugochukwu finishes second and heads to Monza as the Euro 4 Championship leader

The final race of the opening weekend of the Euro 4 Championship ended with a podium celebration for James Wharton. The Prema Racing's Ferrari Driver Academy driver showcased exceptional pace and flew to his first seasonal win from the pole position. The Australian established an insurmountable lead right from the start, building a commanding gap on the fast Mugello Circuit, and sealed an extremely positive first weekend. His impressive performance includes a sixth-place finish in race 1, followed by a second-place podium in the first Sunday race, before ending it in the best way possible. However, the highest points haul went to his McLaren junior teammate, Ugo Ugochukwu, who secured the second step on the podium in Race 3. Adding the second-place finish to his two previous victories, Ugochukwu becomes the first Championship leader with 68 points accumulated from the first round of the Euro 4 Championship. Arvid Lindblad, the Red Bull junior driver, crossed the finish line third in the final race. However, due to a 5-second penalty incurred during a fierce battle with Sztuka, he slips to fifth place. Kacper Sztuka from US Racing, who finished fourth, inherits the last podium spot in the final race.

Ivan Domingues, representing Van Amersfoort Racing, concluded Race 3 in fourth position after emerging victorious from a spectacular battle with Akshay Bohra. Domingues secured his first points in the series in the weekend's finale. Bohra, who finished sixth in Race 3, left the weekend triumphantly with two podium finishes. The US Racing driver is currently leading the Rookie standings and sits in third place overall after the first round. Nicola Lacorte from Prema Racing took seventh place in Race 2, followed by his Finnish Ferrari Driver Academy teammate, Tuukka Taponen. The fight for points intensified among these two drivers and the other competitors who make up the top 10, including Ruiqi Liu from US Racing in ninth position and the Venetian driver Brando Badoer. Badoer, representing Van Amersfoort Racing, delivered a magnificent performance that partially compensated him for the technical issue that prevented him from participating in the first race of the day. Just outside the points zone by a narrow margin is Prema driver Rashid Al Dhaheri, who nonetheless showcased his skills during battles with Taponen and Liu.

After the first round of the Euro 4 Championship, Ugochukwu leads the standings with 68 points, followed by Wharton with 48 points. Bohra sits in third place with 41 points.

The next round of the Euro 4 Championship will take place in Monza on the weekend of September 17. Prior to the summer break, the Italian F4 Championship will ignite the show at Paul Ricard circuit from July 21 to 23.

 

James Wharton: “This is quite a good weekend. P6 in the first day is not what we wanted, but we came back today and we got P3 and P1. We go to the next, but my full focus is Paul Ricard now. I want to get back on top in that Championship, and then come back for Monza to get back on top on this Championship as well.”

Ugo Ugochukwu: “Of course I wanted a third win, but still P2 means very good points for the Championship. Unfortunately, we battled each other a little bit at the beginning. Wharton managed to get away a bit in the early laps. I was pushing as hard as I could to catch him, but he also had a good race, he didn't make any mistakes. Anyway, it's a good weekend, two wins and a podium. I'm happy, good points for the Championship.”

 

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