Joshua Dürksen (16, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) secured a maiden ADAC Formula 4 victory in an exciting contest. He won Race 3 at the Nürburgring on Sunday morning in an authoritative manner and staged an impressive comeback after a mediocre showing in Race 2. To his rear, the drivers from the ADAC High-Speed Academy fought a series of spectacular battles for the remaining positions. Van Amersfoort Racing team-mates Jonny Edgar (16, England) and Jak Crawford (15, USA) were in the thick of it as they scrapped hard for almost the entire race. With ten minutes to go, Crawford made the decisive move that brought him second place and his second podium of the season. Shortly afterwards, Italy’s Gabriele Mini (16, Prema Powerteam) also passed Edgar to secure podium number three on the third race of the weekend, thereby making his intentions in the Rookie classification perfectly clear.
“I feel terrific,” said Dürksen after lifting his first winner’s trophy and finishing a full eight seconds up on Crawford. “I’ve actually been waiting many months for this and have worked really hard for it. I got off to a good start and then kept pushing, just as we had planned to. But I also wanted to manage the tyres properly. I’m just so happy.”
Shortly before the end of the race, Edgar in fourth had to let through his main rival in the championship Elias Seppänen (16, US Racing) and settle for fifth. That cost him two points in the overall standings, but he remains 20 points ahead of Seppänen. In the Best Rookie stakes, Tim Tramnitz (15, Germany, US Racing) is still in the lead after finishing sixth, but on his very first weekend, Mini chalked up three wins in the Junior class to establish his own claims on the title. “I think it was a good weekend,” said Tramnitz. “We were able to take some decent points from every race and increase the gap in the Rookie classification as well.”
After finishing eighth on the previous day, Sebastian Montoya (15, Colombia, Prema Powerteam) was in pole position for the start of the third race. The son of ex-Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya did not get away well and lost several places. Dürksen promptly went into P1 and then benefited from the many hard-fought scraps going on behind him to extend his lead. Edgar, Crawford and Oliver Bearman (15, England, US Racing) in particular fought each other hard for position.
Immediately at the start, Bearman had moved up into second place with Crawford following behind. As in Race 1 on Saturday, Edgar worked his way up from eighth place on the grid to P4. While Crawford and Bearman were preoccupied with each other, Edgar was able to quickly close the gap on the two of them and a thrilling, three-way battle then ensued. Crawford and Edgar finally found their way past Bearman in the space of a few turns. Crawford and Edgar then continued their scrap while Bearman was unable to find much in the way of a reply. Initially, championship leader Edgar moved into second place, but Crawford and Mini, who had meanwhile moved up into fourth, were all over the back of him. Ten minutes before the end, they both passed Edgar, and Seppänen also overtook the Brit in the final stages.
“It was a nerve-wracking race,” said Red Bull Junior Crawford. “After we got past Bearman, I came under extreme pressure from Jonny. Then he overtook me, and it was simply a matter of staying with him. I don’t know what went wrong for him at the end. It was a really crazy race.”
ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Tramnitz finished sixth after starting from fourth place. Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP) was seventh ahead of Dino Beganovic (16, Sweden, Prema Powerteam) and Francesco Pizzi (15, Italy, Van Amersfoort Racing). Bearman eventually dropped back to tenth position and had to settle for a single point. Eleventh-placed Montoya was just outside the points on this occasion.
The talented youngsters of ADAC Formula 4 now sign off for the next five weeks, as the next race event at the Hockenheimring is not until 18th – 20th September. A grand total of 21 races are being held over seven weekends. SPORT1 will show at least one race live on free-to-air television each weekend, and there will be further coverage on SPORT1+. All races are available online as a livestream with German and English commentary on SPORT1.de, youtube.com/adac and adac.de/motorsport.
Elias Seppänen (P4, US Racing): “It was a pretty good race after starting from seventh. I lost a place early on, but I was subsequently able to overtake some of the guys in front. Fourth place is actually quite good considering where we started from. I was pretty fast; maybe I could have finished on the podium if I had got past the cars in front a bit sooner. But because of the grid position and the fact that this is a hard track to overtake on, fourth place is really good.”
Tim Tramnitz (P6 and current leader in the Best Rookie championship, US Racing): “I started from fourth place, but unfortunately I immediately dropped back one position. After that, I was able to close the gap on the cars in front of me and regain the position, but I lost two places in the final sprint. The pace wasn’t that good and my front tyres lost a little bit towards the end.”