Racking up a total of 2 wins and 10 podiums in the Rookie category, plus 4 more overall podiums, Zachary David celebrated a successful conclusion to the 2023 Italian F4 Championship. 2 of those Rookie podiums came from the weekend at Vallelunga, allowing the Malta-based Filipino driver to wrap up the season 3rd in class.
Zach was again at the sharp end of the time sheets during Free Practice and was in high spirits to wrap up the season strong. But considering how tough it is to pass around the 4.085 km circuit, Zach knew he needed to Qualify well to give him a shot at a points scoring position. Setting a 1:34.082 lap during the first session was earned him P5 on the grid for Race 1. However, even if he improved with a 1:33.983 on his next outing, it was only good enough for P8 showing just how competitive the field is.
Driving the #20 entry of US Racing, Zach got off to a clean start in Race 1 and bravely picked up a position on the opening lap. It then became a 4-car train with the front runners that was so equally matched they maintained position throughout all 20 laps until the chequered flag dropped. The effort would earn Zach 4th overall and 2nd place amongst the Rookies, kicking off the final round of the season on a high note.
A quick getaway in Race 2 saw Zach climb 2 places up to P6. Unfortunately, the red flags came out after a first lap pileup and restarted behind the Safety Car with their original grid positions restored. Aiming to repeat his earlier overtake, Zach attempted to make a pass at the hairpin, but accidentally nudged the other driver into a spin. Although he crossed the finish line in 7th, he was handed a hefty 25 secs post race penalty that dropped him out of the points.
Just because it was the last race of the season doesn’t mean that Zach could take risks in Race 3. Another lighting quick start allowed him to move up a spot to P5. He then got held up as the drivers in front scrapped for position, opening the door for 2 cars to get by. Zach stayed in P7 for most of the race, waited for the right moment, and made a clean move for 6th place overall on the final lap to score another 2nd place on the Rookie Class podium.
Looking back at the 2023 season, the 16-year-old’s stellar performance officially classified Zach David 7th overall in the Drivers’ Standings and 3rd in the Rookie points.
Zach David: “This is the best weekend we’ve had since the summer break. Although it wasn’t as good as what I expected, I’m still happy with my results. As my first full season in single seaters come to a close, I’m content with what I was able to achieve in such a competitive and close grid. There were some highs and lows, and more room to improve, but I’m confident that it made me a stronger driver for next season”
Zach 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.
[Photos courtesy of ACI Sport]