The two ADAC Formula 4 races at the Lausitzring on Sunday were extremely tense and exciting. Saturday’s winner Edgar (16, England, Van Amersfoort Racing) won through again in the second round of the weekend on Sunday morning after an exciting scrap with team-mate, Jak Crawford (15, USA). Tim Tramnitz (15, US Racing) from Hamburg was best Rookie in Race 2. The ADAC Sports Foundation protégé also took his maiden podium for third place.
In the third race on Sunday afternoon, Seppänen (16, Finland, US Racing) showed courage when it started to rain and decided not to change tyres in a tactical game of poker. The race was stopped four minutes before the end and Seppänen in P1 was classified as the race winner. Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP) took P2 from his team-mate Kirill Smal (15, Russia), who had also elected not switch to full wets. Smal was best Rookie in the third round.
“It was a good race for me. I started from pole position, lost a place but regained the lead when another driver made a mistake,” said race winner Seppänen. He and his team took a conscious decision not to pit. “We were expecting the red flag, because it was raining very hard,” he added.
The second race of the weekend was spared the bad weather, and the scrap between the two Van Amersfoort drivers, Edgar and Crawford, was action-packed. While pole-sitter Crawford was able to defend his lead after the start and successfully counter several attacks by Edgar, the British driver made the decisive manoeuvre of the race in the final stages. “I tried several times to overtake him but couldn’t get close enough. I was able to pull away once I’d got past,” said Edgar. With his convincing performance, the Red Bull Junior has become the hot favourite to win this year’s championship. Tramnitz took his maiden podium thanks to a strong overtaking manoeuvre on Bernier. Smal was fifth.
Once again in the third race, Edgar, who had to start from grid slot eight in accordance with regulations after winning Race 2, quickly worked his way forward. Out in front, US Racing initially dictated proceedings with Vlad Lomko (15, Russia) and Seppänen, but Edgar quickly found the connection to the front-runners. When Lomko had to head for the pits with suspension damage after a contact with the track wall, the scrap between Seppänen and Edgar looked like it was going to decide the race winner.
Rain started to fall on the Lausitzring as Edgar continued to increase pressure on his opponent. “It was just the right time for it to rain, because Jonny behind me was very strong and there was still a lot of time left,” said Seppänen. The race stewards immediately sent the safety car out onto the track to neutralise the race. Some drivers, including Edgar and Crawford, came into the pits to change tyres and prepare for the restart. However, the race was stopped just five minutes before the end. Seppänen, who had decided not to pit, was thus able to secure his maiden victory in the ADAC Formula 4.
Behind Bernier and Smal, Artem Lobanenko (19, Russia, R-ace GP) came fourth ahead of Tramnitz, who leads the Rookie classification after this first weekend. Oliver Bearman (15, US Racing) was sixth behind Tramnitz. For the Brit, this was some small consolation to the end of a race, in which he had dropped back to last place after running wide and spinning.
Edgar, the ‘Man of the Match’ in the first two races, was left with seventh place. However, he emerged as the championship leader from this first race weekend with 56 points, twelve points up on Seppänen. Josef Knopp (16, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) took P8 from his team-mate, Joshua Dürksen (16, Berlin). Crawford completed the Top Ten in the third race. The next ADAC Formula 4 race weekend will take place at the Nürburgring, 14th to 16th August.
Jonny Edgar (Winner, Race 2, Van Amersfoort Racing): “It was a good race. Jak and I managed to open up a gap. I tried several times to overtake him but couldn’t get close enough. I was able to pull away once I’d got past. Starting the season with two wins is an incredible feeling. I already feel very comfortable in my new team.”
Tim Tramnitz (Third and best Rookie, Race 2, US Racing): “My pace in Race 2 was really excellent, and I felt comfortable in the car throughout. I was able to hold on to my fifth position at the start and then quickly overtake my team-mate. The gap on the guys further forward was actually quite large, but I was able to reel them in during the race. In the third round, the team in particular did a great job. The pit stop was super quick, which in itself, enabled us to move up three positions. In general, I am very happy with the weekend, as two finishes in the Top Five plus a podium are really very good for my first Formula 4 race weekend.”