You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

R03 Barcelona - Euro4 Championship Race Report

Ugochukwu seals Euro4 title as PREMA wins Team Championship

R03 Barcelona - Euro4 Championship Race Report

PREMA Racing delivered a brilliant run at Barcelona for the final round of the inaugural Euro4 Championship. The new-for-2023 series was wrapped up at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a double-points event that ended up with Ugo Ugochukwu securing the Driver Championship and PREMA claiming the teams’ honors with two wins and positive performances across the board.

The 16-year-old American, who laid great groundwork in Race 1 and 2, dominated the final race on Sunday from start to finish, capping a positive season that saw him improve and progress all around.

The opening race saw a close battle up front which eventually promoted Arvid Lindblad to P2 in front of Ugochukwu. The British race showed great promise and pace, although contact put him out of contention in race 2, and a jump start penalty cost him a potential podium in race 3.

James Wharton also had a dominant run in Race 2, to put himself back into serious contention, taking the lead at the first corner and never relinquishing it, bouncing back from a time penalty he got on Saturday. For the Australian, it was generally an impressive weekend and a good way to sign off the year.

Tuukka Taponen also gave his season a positive conclusion with a double podium finish and solid runs through and through. Nicola Lacorte also had the chance to celebrate on the rookie podium, fighting back from a race 1 issue to end up fourth overall in race 2.

Both Rashid Al Dhaheri and Freddie Slater had a learning weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix venue, with two points finishes each. On the other hand, Aurelia Nobels captured two wins in the Woman Trophy and inched close to a points finish with P11 in race 2.

#3 - Ugo Ugochukwu
“We brought home the Euro4 title, and I could not be happier. We were good all weekend, we had a decent pace. We focused on not making mistakes in the first two races, and coming into race 3, I wasn’t leading the championship, but I knew that starting on pole, I had a good chance, and I just had to deliver. I couldn’t have done it without the team, and I want to thank everyone in PREMA. It has been an amazing year, so I want to thank each and every member of the team. “

#8 - Tuukka Taponen
“Maybe it was not our strongest weekend, but a decent one for sure. I think I was able to maximize it, except for race 1 where I got a time penalty. We were very good in the second and third races, especially in the last one, where I had no tyres left anymore but maximized the situation, finishing on the podium. It was a good way to end the season. I want to thank everyone at PREMA and Ferrari for all the help.”

#13 - James Wharton
"Overall, it was quite good, and qualifying was especially positive. In race 1, we finished the race in P1 but got a penalty afterward, which was not ideal. Still, the pace was good, and I think we had a very good weekend, taking a win in race 2. I’m really happy with how it went, and I know I’m in a good spot to do a good job next year. I just want to go back, take some rest, do some testing, and hopefully come back stronger.”

#14 - Rashid Al Dhaheri
“This season I learned a lot. We expected it to be a tough one, but we kept learning through the tough times, and we will be very strong for next year. I want to thank the team for the help and information they gave me. The PREMA family was amazing. This was a difficult race in terms of tyre degradation and management of the balance of the car, which is quite sensitive here in Barcelona. We were able to find a good balance throughout the weekend and work well together. We will put what we learned here to fruition and use it for the next challenges.”

#16 - Aurelia Nobels
“I had a positive weekend. In free practice, we were getting there every session, and then we got P13 and P15 in qualifying, even though I made a mistake in the second session and I couldn’t improve. In race 1, I finished in P13, and the pace was really good, I had a positive start, and I was catching the others. In race 2, I got up to P11 and very close to the points. The pace was very good again, and I was battling with Arvid, which is really good. In race 3, I had a great start again, but someone hit me from behind causing a puncture. I had to stop to change the tyre, and dropped one lap behind, but the pace was still OK. I’m happy with the weekend, I had two wins in the Woman Trophy and good finishes.”

#23 - Arvid Lindblad
“Better weekend here in Barcelona compared to the recent weekends we had. A bit of a step forward in pace, we made changes to the car, and that helped a lot. The speed was generally a lot better than it has been in recent months, and it’s the first time I felt competitive since Mugello. Qualy was a bit difficult, I don’t think we got the car quite in the window, but in general, it still wasn’t bad. In the first race, I had a good pace and I good start. I actually had the lead from P5 in the first corner, then dropped back to P4, but I was promoted to P2 by a couple of penalties. The second race was unfortunate as I was fighting for second after a good start, but contact put me out of contention. In race 3, we had high hopes on fresh tyres. I just had a terrible start, which ruined the race. I apologize to the team for that, and I thank them for all the effort and hard work they put in to give me a good car.”

#47 - Nicola Lacorte
“We started far away in practice, but we got it together before qualifying, which is what we wanted, and got P10, P7, and P7 for the three races, respectively. Race 1 didn’t go well, with a technical issue stopping us early. In race 2, I had a great start from P7, and I kept a positive pace, finishing fourth overall and second among rookies. Race 3 could have gone better, considering how positive race 2 went. The start was good again, and after an early contact, I was back to P7 and eventually finished in P6.”

#51 - Freddie Slater
"It wasn’t an easy weekend, we started on a good foot for FP1 but struggled a little bit in qualy and in the races, and it was hard to overtake as dirty air is a massive factor here. It was a learning weekend, and we just keep on learning for next year. That’s the main thing. We need to find some learning points and work on them, but I couldn’t do it without PREMA, all the people who put an effort into me, always pushing!”