Tuukka Taponen and Ugo Ugochukwu excel in Pre-Event Collective Tests at Zandvoort

Published on Thursday, June 6, 2024

Tuukka Taponen and Ugo Ugochukwu excel in Pre-Event Collective Tests at Zandvoort

The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine kicked off today with two Pre-Event Collective Tests at Zandvoort, the venue for the third event of the season.

The two sessions were marked by alternating rain and clear skies, allowing teams and drivers to run both on dry and wet tracks. The fastest time of the day was set by R-ace GP‘s Tuukka Taponen, who showed an excellent rapport with his car despite it being his first time on the Dutch circuit. The Ferrari Driver Academy’s Finnish driver clocked the best time of 1’31″407 on dry conditions during the morning session, ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing rookie Pedro Clerot by just under three-tenths of a second. Current series leader Rafael Camara (Prema Racing) posted the third fastest time. Noah Strømsted (RPM) also performed well, finishing fourth ahead of Nikita Bedrin (MP Motorsport), who returned to the series this weekend after missing the Spa Francorchamps round. James Wharton (Prema Racing) secured the sixth fastest time, followed by Matteo De Palo (Sainteloc Racing) and Nikhil Bohra (MP Motorsport). The morning session’s top 10, which was affected by a weather disturbance, was rounded out by Théophile Naël (Sainteloc Racing) and Evan Giltaire (ART Grand Prix).


In the afternoon, as the track gradually dried, Ugochukwu led the pack. The McLaren Driver Development driver set a strong pace, finishing just 46 thousandths of a second ahead of Bedrin, who secured second place. Taponen performed well again, finishing third ahead of Wharton and Valerio Rinicella (MP Motorsport), with the Italian rookie closing in fifth, showing excellent form. Zachary David (R-ace GP) secured the sixth fastest time of the afternoon, ahead of Naël and Camara. Brando Badoer (Van Amersfoort Racing) finished ninth, ahead of the current rookie group leader, Giltaire, who rounded out the top ten once again.

Tomorrow, the series will return to action for two Collective Tests scheduled at 8:05 AM and 3:00 PM.


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