Jonny Edgar (16, England, Van Amersfoort Racing) delivered an outstanding performance in the last race of the season at Oschersleben to wrap up the ADAC Formula 4 championship after catching and overtaking team-mate Jak Crawford (15, USA). Red Bull Junior Edgar went on a strong charge from seventh place on the grid in the final race of the year to finish in P2 and bank enough points to clinch the championship. After his two victories in the first two races at Oschersleben, Crawford went into the final race nine points ahead of Edgar. However, he made hardly any progress from eighth on the grid and ultimately had to settle for sixth. After 21 thrilling races this season, the title in the ADAC High-Speed Academy was decided by just two points. And amid all the excitement, Rookie champion Tim Tramnitz (15, Germany, US Racing) was recording a maiden win in the series.
“I am delighted to have won the title,” said Edgar, who was evidently pleased but refrained from making a big show of it – the race had been too exhausting. “I’d led the championship from day one until the race yesterday. The gap to Jak was a wide one, and I had to overtake quite a few drivers. It wasn’t that easy. We were all struggling with tyre degradation, but my pace was still faster than that of most of the others. Luckily, it was good enough for me to gain the positions I needed.”
The tide in the championship battle had apparently turned in Crawford’s favour as early as the first race on Saturday. The Red Bull Junior promptly followed up his fourth victory of the season with win number five after a defensive battle on Sunday morning. The net result was that the American extended his lead to nine points and only needed to more or less match Edgar’s performance to clinch the title. The reversed grid rule meant that Crawford had to start the final race from eighth on the grid and Edgar from seventh. But unlike what had happened in the first two races, Edgar got off to a strong start while Crawford got caught up in traffic. Edgar quickly moved up into fourth place, but Crawford remained stuck in seventh.
That result would have been enough to hand Crawford the title, but Edgar effectively regained the lead in the championship with his successful overtaking move on French teenager Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP). After a safety car deployment triggered by the retirement of Roee Meyuhas (20, Israel, R-ace GP), Edgar also passed Elias Seppänen (17, Finland, US Racing). Crawford was now really feeling the pressure, but he was unable to gain more than one position courtesy of Oliver Bearman (15, England, US Racing) who spun off. Edgar’s final points tally was 300, while Crawford closed the season on 298.
After having to settle for the race runner-up spot on no fewer than four occasions, Tramnitz was delighted to have finally taken his maiden win just as his first season in open-wheel racing was coming to an end. From pole position, the ADAC Sports Foundation protégé produced a supreme performance and was never in any serious difficulty despite the safety car deployment. “It’s mega, and I’m obviously ecstatic,” said Tramnitz with a broad grin. “I’ve been working towards this all year and finally managed to pull it off in the last race.”
Tramnitz made the best of a situation that arose from a poor start to the morning race and a subsequent charge through the field to a P8 finish. “That was obviously not planned at all,” said Tramnitz. “Ultimately, though, it might have helped me to win but should never have happened that way.” Today’s victory has put the icing on the cake of an impressive rookie season after he clinched the title for best newcomer on the penultimate weekend at the Lausitzring. Furthermore, he also moved up into fourth place overall in the championship standings.
Seppänen completed the podium party in third place, also consolidating P3 in the championship. Bernier booked P4 ahead of Joshua Dürksen (17, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) and Crawford. Bearman came home seventh. Erick Zuniga (16, Mexico, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) was eighth. The two Russians, Kirill Smal (15, R-ace GP) and Vladislav Lomko (15, US Racing), took the final points-scoring positions.
In the first race of the day, Crawford had held on for victory ahead of Edgar at the finish despite incessant attacks from his team-mate. Ultimately, though, the sense of triumph would not see out the day. Bearman crossed the finish line in third. His US Racing team-mates Lomko and Seppänen came home fourth and fifth respectively while Bernier was sixth. Dürksen finished seventh, followed by Tramnitz. Josef Knopp and Roee Meyuhas completed the Top Ten.