Two races, two victories: Van Amersfoort driver Oliver Bearman wins again in the first of Sunday’s races at CM.com Circuit Zandvoort
Victory from pole: Oliver Bearman (16, Van Amersfoort Racing) won the first of Sunday’s ADAC Formula 4 races in commanding fashion, as Zandvoort enjoyed ideal conditions for racing. This was win number four of the season for the young Brit, ensuring the Van Amersfoort driver continues to lead the championship with 100 points. Bearman had already taken a lights-to-flag victory in Saturday’s opening race at the spectacular circuit in the Dutch dunes. Second place on Sunday went to Joshua Dufek (16, Switzerland, Van Amersfoort Racing), with rookie Nikita Bedrin (15, Russia, Van Amersfoort Racing) third. Three Van Amersfoort Racing drivers on the podium – what a display of dominance at the Dutch team’s home race. “What a race! To occupy the first three places with my team-mates, I am delighted for the whole team. It is the reward for the hard work we are all putting in,” said a jubilant Bearman after the race.
Team-mates Bearman and Dufek started the race from the front row of the grid, and it was the pole-sitter who was immediately able to pull clear at the front. Kirill Smal (16, Russia, Prema Powerteam) held on to third place under pressure from Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP). The field in the ADAC’s high-speed school showed great discipline in the first half of the race, with very few changes of position. Even a safety car phase after a crash involving rookie Maya Weug (17, Belgium, Iron Lynx) did little to change this. Bearman again pulled away from everyone else after the restart, but the racing behind him was a closer affair. Dufek and Smal were embroiled in some captivating battles for second place, with Dufek coming out on top. Behind them, rookie Bedrin was making Smal very aware of his desire to finish on the podium. The young Russian took advantage of a mistake from the Prema driver to pass him and take third place. “I was waiting for a mistake from Smal ahead of me. It is really difficult to overtake at the circuit here in Zandvoort. As such, I had to remain patient and react at the right time. I managed to do that,” said Bedrin after the race. The young Russian is emerging as this year’s strongest rookie, having been the fastest in that category in every race so far this season.
At the restart after a crash involving guest driver Francesco Braschi (16, Italy, Jenzer Motorsport), there was an unfortunate collision lower down the field. Taylor Barnard (17, Great Britain, BWR Racing) and Rookie Marcus Amand (15, France, R-ace GP) crashed whilst accelerating. This required a third appearance from the safety car, behind which the field completed the rest of the race.
“I am very happy with my second place, although I obviously always want to win,” said runner-up Dufek. “It’s not every day that you occupy the first three places as a team. We are all so happy.”
Fourth place went to Bernier, with Smal eventually coming home fifth. ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Tim Tramnitz (16, Hamburg, US Racing) crossed the finish line sixth, ahead of Sami Meguetounif (17, France, R-ace GP) and Sebastian Montoya (16, Columbia, Prema Powerteam). The reverse grid rule means Montoya will start race three from pole position. Race winner Bearman lines up in eighth place on the grid, but will clearly be setting his sights on the front of the field. “We obviously want to score as many points as possible in race three,” he said. Rounding off the top ten were Luke Browning (19, Great Britain, US Racing) and Vlad Lomko (16, Russia, US Racing).