Championship leader Jonny Edgar (16, Van Amersfoort Racing) from Great Britain and Russia’s Vladislav Lomko (15, US Racing) were the winners of Saturday’s two ADAC Formula 4 races thanks to their mastery of the autumn-like conditions at the Nürburgring. Edgar won the second of the three races that share the billing with the ADAC Total 24-hour race to chalk up his fourth victory of the season. The two US racing drivers Elias Seppänen (16, Finland) and Oliver Bearman (15, England) joined him on the podium. In the third and final race on early Saturday afternoon, Lomko exploited to the full the pole position he had been handed by virtue of the reversed grid rule to claim a maiden win in the ADAC High-Speed Academy. ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Tim Tramnitz (15, Hamburg) finished as runner-up to make it a one-two victory for last year’s championship-winning team, Kerpen-based US Racing, in their home race. Jak Crawford (15, USA, Van Amersfoort Racing) was third, with Edgar this time back in sixth.
Edgar still leads the way in the championship on 184 points as the contestants look forward to the second half of the season which starts at the Red Bull Ring in three weeks’ time. Crawford (154) moves up to second place after a strong weekend and was able to slightly reduce the gap to the top. Seppänen follows closely behind on 152 points. Tramnitz is in fourth place on 131.
Edgar totally dominated the race on Saturday morning from pole position. The wet track conditions meant that the race had to be started behind the safety car, but after two laps Edgar was given the all-clear to set the pace. After a brief scare on the first free lap when Edgar just managed to avoid a spin after a contact which cost him two places, the English teenager was himself the beneficiary of a mistake by temporary leader Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP), promptly retook the lead and began to pull away. “Towards the end, I eased off slightly, because I had a big lead and didn’t want to make a mistake,” said Edgar. “Elias was getting closer, but I felt I could have stepped up the pace if I needed to.”
Behind Edgar, Seppänen wrested second place from Bearman in the course of a duel that lasted several laps. “I made a small mistake in Turn 10 which allowed him to get past me again,” said Bearman. “But all in all, I am very happy with the result.” Friday’s winner Jak Crawford mounted a strong charge from tenth on the grid to finish fourth. Tramnitz left it until the final lap to secure fifth place ahead of Italy’s Francesco Pizzi (15, Italy, Van Amersfoort Racing). Artem Lobanenko (R-ace GP) finished seventh ahead of his Russian compatriot Lomko. Picking up the remaining points were Joshua Dürksen (16, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) from Berlin and Kirill Smal (15, Russia, R-ace GP).
The third race on Saturday afternoon, in which the Top Eight from Race 2 started in reverse order, began in similar fashion to the race in the morning. The safety car led the youngsters for the first two laps before Lomko was cleared to lead the pack into the competitive part of the race. The Russian did this in an assured manner, quickly establishing a comfortable lead that he kept until the finish. “To be honest, I still can’t really believe it,” said a beaming Lomko after his triumph in the pouring rain. “I am just so happy. The weekend actually hadn’t been going all that well for me. But then, in the last race, I found I had the speed.”
Earlier, Tramnitz had passed Pizzi when the Italian was struggling to prevent a spin in the Dunlop hairpin bend. Ten minutes before the end, Pizzi had to park his car in the pits while lying in third place. In the ensuing three-way battle for the final podium spot between Crawford, Bearman and Seppänen, the American came out on top. In the final stage of the race as the rain came on heavier again, two-time race winner Dürksen spun into the gravel bed in the last corner where he remained stranded. The safety car came back onto the track and led the convoy through to the chequered flag. “To be honest, it got a bit scary at the end,” said Lomko. “The rain was getting heavier, and on some of the corners, we were having to drive even slower than at the beginning of the race. The main thing was to retain control of your car. I only had one objective, and that was to be fast. It was the only thing I was thinking about.”
Behind Bearman, Seppänen and Edgar, Smal took seventh place ahead of Josef Knopp (16, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.). The last points on the board went to Artem Lobanenko (20, Russia, R-ace GP) and Mexico’s Erick Zuniga (15, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.). The weekend, shared by the junior series with the legendary ADAC Total 24-hour race, marked the end of the first half of the ADAC Formula 4 season. The contest resumes in three weeks with the fifth fixture on the calendar at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Tim Tramnitz (runner-up in Race 3, US Racing): “It was really a lot of fun, despite the difficult conditions. You had to be very careful out there; there was quite a bit of aquaplaning going on. I am satisfied with the result. It is a great result for the team, so let’s see how we are going to celebrate it. I am already looking forward to the Red Bull Ring. I have been there a few times for testing, and it is a really beautiful track.”
Race calendar for the 2020 ADAC Formula 4 (subject to official approval)
31/07/20 – 02/08/20 Lausitzring
14/08/20 – 16/08/20 Nürburgring
18/09/20 – 20/09/20 Hockenheim
24/09/20 – 27/09/20 Nürburgring (24-hour race)
16/10/20 – 18/10/20 Red Bull Ring (AUT)
30/10/20 – 01/11/20 Circuit Zandvoort (NL)
06/11/20 – 08/11/20 Motorsport Arena Oschersleben