The third round went very well for the Ferrari Driver Academy pair. On the brand new Kuwait Motor Town circuit, Tuukka secured his first ever single-seater win in Race-2, while James had a great drive to win Race-3.
At the end of an impressive six races over five days at Kuwait Motor Town, the standings reflect an outstanding performance from James Wharton and Tuukka Taponen. In his second season in this category, the 16 year old Australian scored the most points of any driver in this third round, having been a front runner throughout. With one win and two second places, Wharton has moved up the order and is now second, 11 points behind the leader.
Key win. “Winning Race-3 was very important, both to confirm the potential shown over the two days and for the valuable points scored in the classification,” said James. “I’m also pleased to have won the only race so far that did not have a Safety Car, which meant one had to be much more careful about managing the tyres. Now, my goal is clear, to try and do it again in Dubai and go for the title in the final round in Abu Dhabi.”
Unforgettable moment. Taponen will never forget this event at KMT as the 16 year old Finn took his first single-seater win in the second race of the event, having finished third in the first one. “It feels great,” commented Tuukka. “It was vital to have the tyres perfectly ready for the restarts after the two Safety Car periods. James left a small gap and I braked at the very last moment, managing to get by into the lead. Unfortunately, Race-3 did not go as I’d hoped, but there’s time to make up for it. The most positive thing is that I can see I am improving day by day.” In the final race at Kuwait Motor Town, Taponen was actually fighting for the win, but his race ended when he was hit by Ugo Ugochukwa. Thanks to a third place in Race-1, having started ninth on the grid, and the win in Race-2, Tuukka is now fourth in the standings, while leading the rookie category.
Next round. The quality field of 38 drivers will be back in action on 11 and 12 February, for the fourth round in Dubai before the final event at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit.