Sztuka sweeps pole positions at Vallelunga, the Pole is once again the fastest on the track

Published on Friday, October 13, 2023

Sztuka sweeps pole positions at Vallelunga, the Pole is once again the fastest on the track

The final qualifying session of the Italian F.4 Championship 2023 once again rewarded the incredible speed of the Polish driver Kacper Sztuka, who at the Vallelunga Circuit continued his series of pole positions collected. It's indeed another en plein for the US Racing driver, thus gaining a crucial advantage to finish the job and win the title. For three times, moreover, in the three races of the weekend, we won't see changes in the top two rows. Flanking Sztuka on the first row, will always line up the Finnish driver Tuukka Taponen from Prema Racing. In the second row, throughout the weekend, will start Ugo Ugochukwu, also racing for Prema, and the Italian Brando Badoer from Van Amersfoort Racing.

In the first session, the best lap was completed by the Pole in 1’33.903, with the Finnish Ferrari Driver Academy driver only 0.023 behind. For the McLaren Junior Ugochukwu, the gap remained narrow, with only 0.089. Badoer secured P4 with a gap of 0.112. The fifth place in Race 1 went to Zachary David, the Maltese-Filipino driver from US Racing, with a gap of 0.179. Sixth place for his American teammate Akshay Bohra, at 0.210. The Londoner Arvid Lindblad, Red Bull Junior from Prema Racing, in the midst of the title fight with the Pole, finished seventh, and will be chasing throughout the weekend. Eighth place for the Jamaican Alex Powell, Mercedes Junior driver from Prema Racing, with a gap of 0.332. To close the top 10 in the first qualifying session were Ferrari Driver Academy's James Wharton from Prema Racing, with a gap of 0.357, followed by Florida-based driver James Egozi from PHM Racing, with a gap of 0.382.

The second qualifying session was even more intense, witnessing an intense battle at the top between Kacper Sztuka and Tuukka Taponen. In the end, the Pole prevailed, further improving the benchmark in the final stages. The best lap was then recorded at 1’33.497. For Taponen, the final gap was 0.221. Ugochukwu secured P3 with a time difference of 0.235, while Badoer finished fourth at 0.269. Fifth this time was the Jamaican Powell, with a margin of 0.367 from the leader. Sixth place for the very fast Freddie Slater from Van Amersfoort Racing, with 0.435, closely followed by his Australian teammate Jack Beeton at 0.457. Eighth place for David at 0.486. Closing the top 10 this time were Bohra, with a gap of 0.486, and then Wharton at 0.489. 

The starting grid for Race 3, determined by the second-best time set by the drivers between the two sessions, saw Sztuka set the reference at 1’33.555. Taponen followed at 0.163 seconds, then again Ugochukwu and Badoer, respectively at 0.242 and 0.304. Powell remained fifth with 0.322, followed by David at 0.431 and Wharton at 0.509. Bohra secured eighth place with 0.517, followed by Slater at 0.533, flanked in the fifth row by Lindblad at 0.616. 

In the women's race, with the trophy to be awarded at Vallelunga, the starting order in the three races will always see Aurelia Nobels, Ferrari Driver Academy driver from Prema Racing, leading the way. Further behind will be the Swiss driver Tina Hausmann from AKM Motorsport, then the current points leader Victoria Blokhina from PHM Racing, who will start from the third position compared to her rivals.

Now the wait begins for Race 1, starting tomorrow, Saturday, October 14th, at 11, lasting 30' + 1 lap. Also on Saturday, Race 2 starts at 16:45 (30' + 1 lap). Finally, on Sunday, October 15th, a winner will be crowned, with the Italian F.4 Championship 2023 being closed only after Race 3, starting at 11 (30' + 1 lap). 

The three races of the weekend will be visible live with English commentary on the Italian F.4 Championship's YouTube and Facebook pages and on Motorsport TV (https://eu.motorsport.tv/); airing with Italian commentary on ACI Sport TV (Sky channel 228 and 52 TV Sat), on www.acisport.it, and on the Facebook page @acisporttv.

Free tickets for access to the event are available after registration on the official circuit website: https://www.ticketone.it/artist/aci-racing-weekend

Kacper Sztuka: “It was a great qualifying. Q1 was decent already. In Q2 we just put all together, quite early in the session. I think is just a good combination, with our car in this track, and yes, we are very fast. It’s difficult not to think to the Championship now…I’m trying to focus on each race, each session, each lap, but of course the Championship is in my head. I think I will just try to do my job, focus on what I can do best, and see what we can get. I’m quite strong at starts, I hope I get my usual start, then I don’t have to worry about the second place.”

 

 

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