The third season of ADAC Formula 4 is about to get underway, with a strong field of 26 drivers entered by nine teams, including promising newcomers and some familiar faces. In the course of the official pre-season tests at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben near Magdeburg, the ADAC High-Speed Academy revealed its starter field for the 2017 season, the opening fixture of which is booked at the same venue for the weekend of 28th to 30th April. The 26 juniors from 15 countries, including one female, Sophia Flörsch (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), aim to follow in the footsteps of last year’s title winner Joey Mawson. Six of them will be competing in auto racing for the first time and have set their immediate sights on the title of rookie champion. The free TV channel SPORT1 will be showing the races live.
“ADAC Formula 4 has long since established itself as one of the leading series in junior single-seater racing,” says ADAC Sport President Hermann Tomczyk. “The most successful contestants from the past season have made the step up to higher echelons of the sport. We are pleased about the number new talents this year and hope to be seeing many of them take their turn on the winner’s podium.”
Plenty of new faces in the line-up
US Racing led by Gerhard Ungar and Ralf Schumacher have made major changes for the new season, reallocating three of their four cockpits. Kim-Luis Schramm (19, Germany) is the only member of the squad to have driven for the Kerpen-based outfit in 2016. The 19-year-old, who has been contesting ADAC Formula 4 since its inception, is now about to commence his third season. New on the books are Fabio Scherer (17, Switzerland), Julian Hanses (19, Germany) and rookie champion Nicklas Nielsen (20, Denmark).
The Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing managed by Frits van Amersfoort claimed last year’s ADAC Formula 4 driver’s title with Joey Mawson. They will be mounting another strong campaign this time with a squad consisting of Felipe Drugovich (16, BRA), Louis Gachot (17, United Kingdom) and Kami Laliberté (17, Canada)
Also strong contenders for the driver’s title are Prema Powerteam who won last year’s team classification: Juri Vips (16, Estonia) and Juan Manuel Correa (17, USA/Ecuador) posted some strong results in 2016, and they are joined by New Zealander Marcus Armstrong (16), a newcomer to ADAC Formula 4.
The line-up for ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. managed by Peter Mücke consists of Sophia Flörsch, Lirim Zendeli (17, Germany), newcomer Tom Beckhäuser (18, Czech Republic) and Oliver Söderström (18, Sweden). Driving for Lechner Racing from Austria will be Richard Wagner (17, Germany) and Mick Wishofer (17, Austria).
PiroSport Interdental team will enter two cars for the first time: Cedric Piro (19, Germany), son of team boss Erwin Piro, will be joined by ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Doureid Ghattas (14, Germany) from the second race weekend onwards. Also new to ADAC Formula 4 is Laurin Heinrich (15, Germany).
Jonathan Aberdein (19, South Africa), Leonard Hoogenboom (17, Netherlands), David Malukas (15, USA) and Charles Weerts (15, Belgium) will be competing as members of the Motopark team which is based at Oschersleben. Two newcomers to the Austrian team Neuhauser Racing are Michael Waldherr (20, Germany) and Andreas Estner (16, Germany).
ADAC’s fine tradition of discovering and nurturing new talent in formula racing had its 25th anniversary in 2016. Over the past few years, many gifted youngsters from the ADAC series have made it to the top of the international motor racing ladder. Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg and all three Germans in the current crop of F1 drivers – Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hülkenberg and Pascal Wehrlein – are former titleholders in one or other of the predecessor series to ADAC Formula 4.
ADAC Formula 4 will continue to count on the support of its longstanding partners in the 2017 season. All contestants will drive an Abarth turbocharged Formula 4 car with a chassis supplied by Italian manufacturer Tatuus. The ADAC Formula 4 cars will be clad by Italian premium tyre manufacturer Pirelli, who also supply Formula 1, and rim manufacturer MoTec. Further series partners are suspension and chassis manufacturer Eibach as well as DEKRA, one of the world’s leading vehicle inspection organisations. Auto Zeitung continues as the official media partner.