Rookie podium for Zach David at penultimate Italian F4 race at Mugello


Although admittedly it wasn’t the results he was hoping for, Zachary David added another podium to his 2023 tally during the penultimate round of the Italian F4 Championship. He went on to secure a 3rd place finish in the Rookie category in a Safety Car-riddled event at Mugello.

Coming from a Euro 4 Championship outing last month, the 16-year-old maintained his momentum to consistently finish in the Top 4 spots during Free Practice. This gave him confidence ahead of the race weekend as he aims to finish the year strong. However, it’s easier said than done when you’re up against a grid of 34 competitive drivers where only half a second split the Top 10.

While pushing for a fast lap, Zach made an error in QTT1 and sadly wound up in P22 for Race 1. But he was able to make amends during QTT2 by putting his #20 US Racing entry P9 on the grid for Race 2.

The Malta-based Filipino driver knew that there was a lot of work to be done if he wanted to score points. He immediately got his head down at the start of Race 1 and picked up several places on the opening lap. Even with a lengthy Safety Car period, he was able to climb as high as P16 and was making good progress. It was just unfortunate that the team had to call him in to the pits after only 4 laps to retire the car.

With already 1 DNF, Zach knew that he had to deliver in Race 2. A slow getaway dropped him down to P11, but that didn’t deter him from fighting back. Although there were only a handful of laps where the track was green, he managed to get into the points and secure 8th overall and 6th in the Rookie Class with the race finishing behind the Safety Car.

It was all or nothing in Race 3. This time Zach managed to get a decent start from P8 on the grid and maintain position. Mounting an attack on such a twisty high speed circuit, however, does pose some challenges. He had to plan and execute his move perfectly or risk losing the race. The opportune moment eventually came up on the very last lap where he made a clean pass for 7th overall and a spot on the Rookie Class podium.

While it wasn’t the race weekend he had hoped for, it was still a good points haul for Zachary David who now sits 7th Overall in the Drivers’ Standings and 3rd amongst the Rookies. He’ll be looking to end the 2023 season on a high note and bounce back during the finale at Vallelunga Circuit on the 14th and 15th of October.

Zach David: “Not the weekend we expected or deserved. Our speed looked promising early on, but a mistake in Qualifying put us on the back foot all weekend. It was difficult to mount a comeback at Mugello due to its high speed corners and had some back luck that lost us opportunities. Still, I’m pleased with my Rookie podium and sure to bounce back hard for the final round in 2 week’s time.”

Zachary David is sponsored by Ceramic Pro, KAVACA / ION PPF, Stilo Helmets, Attard Baldacchino, Eeetwell, Exoshield and Ceramic Pro Express, with support from Pet One Petfood, FB Hout, Everpower, Green Amenities, JG Summit Olefins Corporation, Ravenol Phillippines, AutoPlus Sports, Time Attack Manila, ISR, Keys School Manila, 3CX, AlbertSmith Signs, Petron Corporation, and Malta Motorsports Federation.

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[Photos courtesy of ACI Sport]