It was a double-dream start for Jonny Edgar at the Lausitzring, as the Van Amersfoort Racing 16-year-old won the first race of the ADAC Formula 4 season. The Red Bull Junior from England seized the initiative with a lightning-fast start from third place on the grid and followed up with an assured drive. Second place went to Joshua Dürksen (16, Berlin, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) ahead of Finland’s Elias Seppänen (16) who drives for reigning team champions US Racing. ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Tim Tramnitz (15, US Racing) from Hamburg was fifth overall and Best Rookie. The second and third races of the ADAC High-Speed Academy will take place on Sunday at 11:15 and 15:30 CEST. SPORT1 will broadcast both races live on TV and as an online stream.
“It was a really good race for me,” said Edgar after his maiden victory in ADAC Formula 4. “I took the lead right at the beginning. After that, I simply tried to nurse the tyres so that they wouldn’t overheat,” he added. Edgar actually laid the foundations for victory even before reaching the first corner. While pole-sitter Jak Crawford (15, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing) made a poor start and dropped from first to fifth place, Edgar got away perfectly off the line and immediately took the top spot from third place on the grid. Dürksen and Seppänen followed behind him while Crawford was left to slot into place behind British driver, Oliver Bearman (15, US Racing).
Crawford, the second Red Bull Junior in the field, then tried to make up for lost ground. After three laps, he passed Bearman, making a slight contact in the process and causing the British rookie to puncture a tyre. However, Bearman was able to continue after a brief pit stop.
While Edgar in the lead managed to open up a gap on Dürksen as the race progressed, Crawford had to bide his time behind Seppänen in P3. The Finn did extremely well under pressure, turning in a flawless performance, leaving his opponent no chance to launch an attack for quite a long time. However, the scrap hotted up again in the final stages of the race.
Crawford initially found his way past Seppänen with a bold manoeuvre in the final turn and even managed to fend off the Finn’s counter-attack going into Turn 1. A few metres further down the track, however, and Kirill Smal (15, Russia, R-ace GP) came out of the pits after damaging a front wing. Crawford deviated a little from the racing line and spun off track. Seppänen went by again to ultimately finish third, 0.058 seconds up on Crawford.
Tramnitz in fifth place was Best Rookie, followed by his team-mate, Vlad Lomko (15, Russia, US Racing). Frenchman Victor Bernier (16, R-ace GP) took P7 from Czech teenager, Josef Knopp (16, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV). The last championship points went to Artem Lobanenko (19, Russia, R-ace GP) and Bearman, who was tenth. Crawford will start from pole again in the second race on Sunday while Edgar will be in P2.
Elias Seppänen (third, US Racing): “I think it was a pretty good race. I had a good start and promptly gained two positions. After that, I had a close-fought scrap with Jak. He overtook me, but then we came upon the backmarker, which made things a bit problematic. Jak lost some time and I moved back into third. I think this is a good result. We are already looking forward to tomorrow’s races. I wonder whether we might even have rain.”
Tim Tramnitz (fifth, best rookie, US Racing): “I really enjoyed my first Formula 4 race. I was able to catch up with my team-mate a bit towards the middle of the race. I saw my chance and took it. It was amazing to finally be able to compete in my first Formula 4 race. And then of course, to finish Best Rookie is a top result. I’ll start out from fifth place tomorrow in the second race. Maybe I can gain a position again like today or even finish on the podium?”