Van Amersfoort driver Oliver Bearman takes a lights-to-flag victory. Sebastian Montoya and Tim Tramnitz complete the podium.
Van Amersfoort driver Oliver Bearman claimed his third win of the season in the opening race of the ADAC Formula 4 weekend at CM.com Circuit Zandvoort. The 16-year-old, who started from pole position, led from start to finish at the circuit in the Dutch dunes. Bearman had already proven to be unbeatable on Friday: the Brit has so far set the fastest lap time in all four track sessions. Bearman also won the first two races of the season at the Red Bull Ring in season. As such, the Van Amersfoort now holds a clear lead at the top of the German Formula 4 championship with 75 points. Columbian Sebastian Montoya (16, Prema Powerteam) and Tim Tramnitz (16, Hamburg, US Racing) joined Bearman on the podium in perfect conditions in Zandvoort. Runner-up Montoya came home half a second behind Saturday’s race winner, before ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Tramnitz crossed the finish line 2.307 seconds later.
“That was a really good race from me. I am very quick this weekend. The key to the victory was definitely pole position. We knew beforehand that qualifying would be particularly important, as overtaking manoeuvres are risky here in Zandvoort. I owe this victory to my team. The set-up of the car was top in all areas,” said Bearman shortly after the race.
Bearman made a brilliant start from pole and had already opened a gap of over a second by the end of lap one. Montoya also started well from the front row of the grid, while Tramnitz held off Luke Browning (19, Great Britain, US Racing) to hang on to his third place. Van Amersfoort’s Bearman proceeded to control proceedings through his rear-view mirror and put clear distance between himself and the chasing pack. On the whole, there were few changes of position within the field – until a crash involving guest driver Leonardo Fornaroli (16, Italy, Iron Lynx) resulted in an appearance of the safety car, which bunched the drivers up again. However, even after the re-start, Bearman once again pulled clear of everyone else to take a victory that at no point looked at risk. Bearman was followed over the finish line by Montoya, Tramnitz and Browning, with Kirill Smal (16, Russia, Prema Powerteam) taking fifth.
“It was really difficult to attack, but nor did I have to do an awful lot of defending,” said Tramnitz. “We were relatively fast from the word go. My car felt very good before the safety car phase, but I struggled with degrading tyres at the end. That was when I started having to look in my mirror. It goes without saying that we always want to be right out in front, but in the end third place gets me some good points again,” said the young man from Hamburg.
Second place for Montoya was enough for the Columbian to remain third in the overall standings. The Prema driver now has 50 points and currently lies behind Luke Browning (57). “I obviously always want more. Finishing second behind Oliver Bearman is not the best feeling. All the same, I have picked up some good points. We had the quality and speed to win. However, it is simply difficult to overtake on this track. The next two races are tomorrow, when I hope that I can win a trophy again.”
Sixth place went to Frenchman Victor Bernier (16, R-ace GP), with Russia’s Vlad Lomko (16, US Racing) seventh. He was followed over the finish line in eighth and ninth by Van Amersfoort team-mates Joshua Dufek (16, Switzerland) and Valint Bence (16, Hungary). In tenth place was Francesco Braschi (16, Italy, Jenzer Motorsport). The fastest rookie was Nikita Bedrin (15, Van Amersfoort Pilot), who leads this competition. The Russian finished eleventh to give Van Amersfoort Racing yet another reason to celebrate. “For Van Amersfoort Racing, this race win at the team’s home event is obviously wonderful. This kind of success means an awful lot to the whole team,” said Bearman.
The second race in the ADAC’s high-speed school starts at 09:10 on Sunday. In the third and final race of the weekend (Sunday, 13:45), the top eight from race two start in reverse order. The races are available to watch live and free on motorsport.tv and adac.de/motorsport.