In the first qualifying session today, Wharton sets the fastest lap time of 2:21.053. Initially, his lap time is canceled due to track limits, but it is later reinstated after the Stewards reviewed the footage, confirming it as the pole position lap for Race 1, which starts today at 14:30. Brando Badoer, the Italian driver from Van Amersfoort Racing, recorded the second-fastest time, demonstrating his strong performance on the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit with a gap of just hundredths of a second (+0.096). Kacper Sztuka (+0.264) and Zachary David (+0.299) from US Racing followed closely in third and fourth place, respectively. The Championship leader Arvid Lindblad, the Red Bull junior driver from Prema Racing, secured the fifth-best lap time with a gap of +0.488, followed by the McLaren junior driver and teammate Ugo Ugochukwu, who recorded a gap of +0.697.
In the second qualifying session, the margins remained tight, with Wharton once again achieving the fastest lap time of 2:21.292, followed closely by Sztuka with a mere +0.018 gap. This time, Arvid Lindblad took third place, the only other driver to remain within one-tenth of a second with a gap of +0.057.
Raphael Narac of R-ace GP delivered an excellent performance in the second session, finishing with a gap of +0.312, securing fourth place. Badoer achieved the fifth-fastest time with a gap of +0.446, accompanied on the starting grid by Akshay Bohra of US Racing with a gap of +0.499.
The starting order for Race 3, determined by the second-best lap time across the two sessions, will see Polish driver Sztuka on pole position (2:21.405), followed by British driver Lindblad (+0.135). Starting from behind them will be Wharton (+0.150) and David (+0.276). Brando Badoer obtained again the fifth-best time (+0.362), followed by Ugochukwu (+0.505).
With an advanced start and 30 cars behind him, James Wharton will face challenges approaching La Source. After the session, the Australian driver provided some insights into his strategy for the race start: “I will just try to be as far in front as possible with the slipstream, everyone is going to catch by the end, so it is just about how smart I am into T5."
Kacper Sztuka: “that was a pretty good lap. In whole qualifying it was a good job from the Team side, we just had clean air, so yea, it was a good session. Now we are back and we will fight for sure!”
The schedule of the weekend
The next on-track action will take place this afternoon, Saturday, May 27th, with Race 1, lasting 30 minutes plus 1 lap, starting at 14:30. On Sunday, May 28th, Race 2 (30' + 1 lap) will begin at 10:35, followed by Race 3 (30' + 1 lap) at 17:20, concluding the weekend.
All three races of the weekend will be broadcast live with English commentary on the Italian F.4 Championship's YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as on Motorsport TV (https://eu.motorsport.tv/). The races will also be aired with Italian commentary on ACI Sport TV (Sky channel 228), on www.acisport.it, and on the Facebook page @acisporttv.