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    Italian F.4: a first win for Taponen

    Tuukka Taponen won Race 1 at Misano, his maiden victory in the Italian series.

    Misano Adriatico 07 maggio 2023

    Tuukka Taponen won Race 1 at Misano, his maiden victory in the Italian series. James Wharton finished twice on the podium and Aurelia Nobels had to pull out following an injury after the first race.

    Finland’s Tuukka Taponen secured his maiden Italian Formula 4 win in the opening race of the second round of the series at the Misano World Circuit. He dominated proceedings having started from pole and then secured a fourth and a fifth place in the second and third races. Tuukka is now fifth in the standings on 51 points. “It was definitely a better weekend than last time,” he said. “My first pole and first win are good starting points, but overall, we haven’t quite reached the level we want. The first qualifying went well, but I didn’t manage to get a clean lap in the second one, which impacted my start position in Races 2 and 3. Misano is one of the most difficult tracks for overtaking and it was a bit frustrating not to get back on the podium after Race 1, considering that the pace was there. But I take that as further motivation for the upcoming rounds ahead of us.”

    James. After a difficult time in the previous round in Imola, Australia’s James Wharton was a front runner, making it to the podium with third place in Race 1 and then second in the next one. The other Ferrari Driver Academy student, Aurelia Nobels had a very unlucky time of it, after going well in qualifying and Race 1. She had to pull out after breaking a wrist in a pit lane collision involving a few cars on the way to the grid for the second race.

    Race-1. Taponen was never troubled, keeping the lead from pole when the lights went out all the way to the chequered flag, leading all 19 laps with a comfortable gap to his team-mates Arvid Linblad and James Wharton, having fended off the Englishman in the early stages. Nobels was going well after starting from 11th and was fighting for a points finish, but her race ended following a coming-together with Ruiqi Liu.

    Race-2. Wharton started the second event at Misano from third, ahead of Taponen. The race saw few changes of position, although James kept pushing Ugo Ugochukwu, watching his opponent for a few laps before overtaking on the outside of the Tramonto corner to go second. Taponen closed on Ugochukwu in the final stages, but was unable to make a move and had to settle for fourth.

    Race-3. Wharton and Taponen shared the third row of the grid for the final race. James moved up to fourth after the start, but Tuukka had to avoid Brando Badoer, who stalled on the grid, but he kept his place. With five laps remaining Wharton lost control of his car and ended up in the run-off area, rejoining to be classified one lap down on the winner, Lindblad, while Taponen was still fifth at the chequered flag.