Nürburg. Fifth win for Taylor Barnard: The Brit earned victory for himself and the PHM Racing team in the final race of this season’s ADAC Formula 4 at the Nürburgring on Sunday. The 18-year-old was followed home in second place by McLaren Junior Ugo Ugochukwu (USA/Prema Racing). Rafael Camara (17/BRA/Prema Racing) took third place in the 18th race of the season and won the Rookie title in the process. “I am overjoyed to be heading home with the trophy for the most successful rookie. That was not an easy race for me, as I had to fight my way forward from tenth on the grid. I never gave up and believed in myself,” said Camara.
It was Ugochukwu, in sixth place on the grid, who reacted fastest at the start of the race. In temperatures around 14 degrees Celsius and under overcast skies, he was fastest out of the blocks at the former Formula 1 circuit and took the lead after the first few corners. However, 15-year-old Ugochukwu could see Barnard closing in all the time in the rear-view mirror of his 180-hp car. Within a few corners, Barnard was up to fifth place. He then produced the race-winning overtake on lap five, before going on to take a commanding victory in the Eifel Mountains. “That is a great result to end the season on. I did not expect to win the reverse grid race – after all, I started from down in seventh. I simply held my line at the start and overtook a lot of drivers on the inside. The track was still wet in a few places, but I had good pace and did not have to take any massive risks,” said Barnard.
Second place was Ugochukwu’s best result so far in only his second race weekend in the ADAC’s talent factory. “The start was unbelievable and I was even able to pull clear of the field at first. I tried to hold off Taylor, but he was the faster driver today. I am very happy with second place. After all, the whole Nürburgring was unfamiliar territory to me,” said Ugochukwu. Spectators at the ADAC Racing Weekend were treated to an exciting race with many captivating battles on the 5.137-kilometre Grand Prix layout. Even coming into the closing stages of the race, Camara was still not guaranteed to end the season in first place in the Rookie competition. However, the most successful young driver of 2022 crossed the finish line third, ahead of team-mate James Wharton (16/AUS), to secure the title.
Nikita Bedrin (16/ITA/PHM Racing) was fifth, followed in sixth place by Andrea Kimi Antonelli (16/Prema Racing). The Italian had already been crowned ADAC Formula 4 champion on Saturday, courtesy of his brace of wins. Prema Racing was also confirmed as Team champion. The best-placed German was ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Valentin Kluss (15/Bad Mergentheim/PHM Racing) in seventh. Finland’s Rasmus Joutsimies (19/Jenzer Motorsport) came home eighth at the end of the 30-minute race. Michael Sauter (18/SUI/Sauter Engineering + Design) and Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi (16/Jenzer Motorsport) from Thailand completed the top ten.
The 2022 ADAC Formula 4 season featured six rounds at current and former Formula 1 circuits in Belgium (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps), Germany (Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the Nürburgring twice, and the Lausitzring), and the Netherlands (Circuit Zandvoort). Antonelli is the most successful driver with nine victories to his name, and was also the fastest man in qualifying, securing seven pole positions over the course of the season. Antonelli was joined in the winners list by Barnard with five wins, as well as Camara, Laursen, Wharton and Bedrin, who each won one race.