Ugochukwu, 2 out of 2 at Mugello Circuit in the Euro 4 Championship

Published on Sunday, July 9, 2023

Ugochukwu, 2 out of 2 at Mugello Circuit in the Euro 4 Championship

At the Mugello Circuit, in the first round of the Euro 4 Championship, Race 2 was once again a triumph for Ugo Ugochukwu. The American driver, McLaren junior with Prema Racing, doubled his success by gaining a position during a restart after a Safety Car period, in a highly spectacular moment that reshuffled the leaderboard. He then flew to the finish line. Akshay Bohra of US Racing secured second place on the podium for the weekend, this time in P2. He managed to catch up to the American towards the end, sticking to the back of his car, in the final laps, but there was not enough room to challenge for the lead. Third place went to James Wharton, Ferrari Driver Academy member from Prema Racing, who delivered a masterfully executed race while setting his sights on the final race of the weekend, where he will start from pole position.

Arvid Lindblad, Red Bull junior driver from Prema, finished in fourth place once again. He started from pole position but was set back by the restart of the Safety Car, which was deployed due to the incident at the start involving Ivan Domingues (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Tuukka Taponen (Prema Racing). It was the white and red car of the Ferrari Driver Academy driver that spun from the center of the grid. Both drivers managed to restart after a pitlane visit. The start of the race was marred by complications, including an extra formation lap due to issues with Brando Badoer's car (Van Amersfoort Racing), which eventually retired. The race distance was therefore 28 minutes plus one lap after the procedure.

In fifth place was Zachary David, the Maltese-Filipino driver from US Racing, who completed the Rookie podium after Bohra and Lindblad. David made several attempts to chase down the London-born driver ahead of him but was unable to succeed. Rashid Al Dhaheri, the Emirati driver from Prema Racing, finished sixth. In the unmistakable Yas Heat liveried car, Al Dhaheri emerged victorious from an exciting battle with Australian driver Jack Beeton of Van Amersfoort Racing, who started from fourteenth place and attempted to climb further up the field but ultimately settled for seventh.

Eighth place in Race 2 went to Kacper Sztuka, who finished second in yesterday's race after leading from pole position for a long time. Today, the US Racing driver fought for top positions once again but lost ground during the Safety Car restart and dropped further back after running wide and taking a trip through the gravel while battling with Lacorte. Ninth place went to his Australian teammate, Gianmarco Pradel, who emerged victorious from a tough midfield battle to secure a points-scoring position. The final point at stake in Race 2 went to Sicilian driver Alfio Spina of Team BVM Racing. Local driver Nicola Lacorte (Prema Racing), one of the main protagonists in Race 2, did not cross the finish line after going off track and losing sixth place on the penultimate lap due to a front blockage in a corner.

Ugo Ugochukwu: “Another great race, I’m super happy. At Safety Car restart I managed to go ahead and took the lead. I got the slipstream and overtake, and from there on I was just pushing as much as I could, to open the gap, sector to sector. Bohra was really quick mid-race, he was pressuring me a lot, but I managed to keep him behind. I’m super happy to take home another win. A big thanks to the whole Team, another great race, and I’m looking forward to race 3. Ideally, another win would be great. We’ll see, the pace has been really good. If I just get another good start and try to get into the lead, we shall have a good chance of winning the race again.”

Akshay Bohra: “This has definitely been a really good weekend. Over the last few months, we just kept going forward and making good steps. Even now, we started P4 and ended up P5 after the first lap. I just started from the outside and took advantage of the restart, and P2 is a really good result.”

James Wharton: “Obviously yesterday was quite difficult. I saved the tyres for the last race, I’m still a little bit behind tyres. We will put the good tyres on for the last race, we will see what we can do. I think I have a good chance of winning, the car seems to be better now than in qualifying, so it should be good.”

 

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