Next weekend the ADAC High-Speed Academy makes its first ever visit to the Netherlands. Set amid the dunes of the Dutch North Sea coast, the circuit at Zandvoort will host the penultimate weekend of the 2006 ADAC Formula 4. All three races (Rounds 19 - 21 of the season) will be shown live on SPORT1 and SPORT1+. They will also be streamed online via www.sport1.de and www.adac.de/formel -4. For the three Dutch contestants in the line-up – Leonard Hoogenboom (16, Van Amersfoort Racing), Janneau Esmeijer (19, Team Timo Scheider GmbH) and Job van Uitert (17, Jenzer Motorsport) – this seventh race weekend of the season will have a special significance. The same goes for Van Amersfoort Racing.
"I like the circuit at Zandvoort, "says Esmeijer. "In any case, it will be great to be racing in front of my own fans and all the Dutch spectators. I last drove at this track two years ago, and I´ve also done testing there. To get a decent result in front of my home crowd would obviously be all the sweeter." Rookie Hoogenboom, who will be competing at Zandvoort for the first time, concurs: "During my time in karting, I was already competing all over Europe, so to be racing at Zandvoort will certainly be a huge incentive. My friends and family will be there to support me. Another podium finish would be a dream come true."
Frits van Amersfoort, head of the eponymous racing team, intends to show the fans at his home race that ADAC Formula 4 is the best of all the Formula 4 championships in Europe: "My team and I are very proud to be competing at Zandvoort. I used to race myself in the 1970s, and even though the team is now at home anywhere in Europe, it´s really quite special to be returning to your roots."
Championship leader Joey Mawson (20, Australia) is a member of the Netherlands-based outfit which currently tops the team standings. The Australian, who has a 46-point lead on his closest pursuer Mick Schumacher (17, Germany, Prema Powerteam), could theoretically wrap up the title ahead of time at the circuit in the sand dunes. "Our target is to provide the next ADAC Formula 4 champion," says Frits van Amersfoort. "It´s the first time the series has been contested at Zandvoort. Joey is obviously under a lot of pressure. I´m hoping that he performs as strongly as he has done all season."
Mawson himself has the title in his sights, but is wary of placing himself under undue pressure: "I´m taking each race as it comes. Obviously, I´ll be trying to make as many podium appearances as possible, better still to win the races outright. Zandvoort is one of the most challenging tracks out there. It´s really traditional with plenty of tight sections and short run-off areas. It calls for total commitment and concentration – every mistake on this track can cost you a lot. Qualifying will be extremely important, because overtaking here is very difficult."
Mawson and Schumacher have opened up a huge gap to the rest of the field after their recent victories at the Nürburgring. The Australian has 297 points, while his former team-mate Schumacher is on 251. The best of the rest are led by ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Mike David Ortmann (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) in third place on 180 points. He is followed by Kim-Luis Schramm (19, Germany, US Racing) on 158, Thomas Preining (18, Austria, Lechner Racing) on 136 and another ADAC Sports Foundation protégé, Jannes Fittje (17, Germany, US Racing), on 125 points.
DeFrancesco in ADAC Formula 4 debut
Devlin DeFrancesco (16, Canada, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) will be making his ADAC Formula 4 debut appearance at Zandvoort. The young Canadian is enjoying great success this year in the British Formula 4 series where he is currently placed third.
The ADAC High Speed Academy is organising six of its eight race weekends in the 2016 season to coincide with the ADAC GT Masters. One more has already been held in the context of the joint event for the ADAC GT Masters and the DTM at the Lausitzring, and the remaining weekend will be part of the TCR International Series at Oschersleben. TV partner SPORT1 is broadcasting the races live on free-to-air TV as well as online and on mobile devices.
In the 2016 season, ADAC Formula 4 continues to work in close collaboration with its established partners. The turbocharged engines are supplied by Abarth, while the chassis come from Italian manufacturer Tatuus. The Italian premium tyre manufacturer Pirelli – well-known for its association with Formula 1 – and wheel manufacturer Motec are also official suppliers to ADAC Formula 4. Suspension manufacturer Eibach and vehicle inspection experts DEKRA are further series partners. Auto Zeitung continues to be the official media partner.