Saturday saw a dramatic turn of events in the race for the ADAC Formula 4 title on the final weekend at Oschersleben. Following an intense battle with Jonny Edgar (16, England), America’s Jak Crawford (15, Van Amersfoort Racing) not only recorded his fourth win of the season but also took over the championship lead from his team-mate. In the first of this weekend’s three races, there was a contact between the two Red Bull Juniors in the final stages of the race, which caused Edgar to puncture and head for the pit lane. He finished out of the points, thereby allowing Crawford to take a two-point lead into the penultimate race on Sunday (09:25 CET). The third and quite likely decisive round will be run on Sunday at 14:55 CET. Free-to-air TV channel SPORT1 is showing all of this weekend’s ADAC Formula 4 races. They can also be watched online as a live stream at SPORT1.de, adac.de/motorsport, YouTube.com/adac and on the ADAC TCR Germany Facebook page.
While the fight for the driver’s title continues to hot up, the winners of the team classification have been decided. There had been only a slim mathematical chance before the weekend that Amersfoort Racing from Zeewolde in the Netherlands could be overhauled in the team competition. After finishing runners-up four times in a row, the Dutch outfit have now secured their first ever title and take over from two-time champions US Racing.
The moment that decided the outcome of the race – and conceivably the championship as well – came a few minutes before the end. Crawford, who had been putting pressure on race leader and team-mate Edgar throughout, took the outside line on the approach to the triple left-hander in the infield as he had done on several occasions over the course of previous laps and launched an attack. While trying to fend him off, Edgar made contact with Crawford’s front wing and sustained damage to his right rear tyre, resulting in an immediate loss of speed. Crawford’s front wing was also damaged, but he was able to continue.
“We had the same pace at the start of the race, but then his tyres obviously fell away more,” said Crawford afterwards. “I was on his tail and just had to be patient. I tried something else but ran out of room.” Edgar was visibly disappointed: “I’ll have to watch the incident again. It was only the slightest of contacts. It’s such a pity that something like that had to happen.” But he remains bullish: “It’s still tight. We have to see what happens tomorrow.”
At first everything seemed to be going to plan for Edgar. The 16-year-old had started from pole position and successfully defended P1 against Crawford. The American teenager made the stronger start from second place, but it was not quite enough to take the lead in the first corner. Behind them, Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP), who started from third place, lost two positions to Joshua Dürksen (17, Berlin, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) and Elias Seppänen (17, Finland, US Racing).
As the race progressed, Edgar and Crawford opened up a sizable gap on the rest of the field, and Edgar seemed to be in complete control. However, the longer the race went on, the more the pressure from Crawford increased. Edgar was able to fend off a first attack with a great defensive move, but Crawford persisted. The 15-year-old repeatedly had the better of the Hasseröder Curve and, on the decisive lap, he positioned himself on the outside in the subsequent approach to the triple left turn.
Edgar lost pace immediately after the contact and had to retreat to the pits. This put him last in the running order. Meanwhile, Crawford limped to victory with a damaged front wing. He was joined on the podium by Dürksen and Seppänen. Bernier finished fourth ahead of 2020 Best Rookie Tim Tramnitz (15, Hamburg, US Racing). The two other US Racing drivers Vladislav Lomko (15, Russia) and Oliver Bearman (15, England) followed in sixth and seventh place. The remaining points went to Josef Knopp (16, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), Kirill Smal (15, Russia, R-ace GP) and Israel’s Roee Meyuhas (20, R-ace GP).