Rookie Paul Aron (15, Estonia, Prema Powerteam) and Sebastian Estner (17, Germany, Van Amersfoort Racing) won Sunday's ADAC Formula 4 races at Zandvoort. While Aron found himself on the top rung of the podium for the second time this season after his win at the Red Bull Ring in June, this was Estner's maiden win in the ADAC High-Speed Academy.
Théo Pourchaire (15, France, US Racing CHRS) has now extended his lead in the overall standings with two third and one seventh place and is on 138 points. His main rival, Arthur Leclerc (18, Monaco, US Racing CHRS), was forced to retire from Sunday's two races and as a result, did not score any points. However, the younger brother of Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc is still on 109 points in second place ahead of Dennis Hauger (16, Norway) and Niklas Krütten (16, Germany). The two team-mates at Dutch outfit, Van Amersfoort Racing, are both on 93 points.
Roman Stanek (15, Czech Republic, US Racing CHRS) was best Rookie after finishing fourth, 14th and 11th this weekend.
Aron got off to a brilliant start this morning on a dry track, overtaking pole-sitter, Gianluca Petecof (16, Brazil, Prema Powerteam) and dominating the 19-strong field throughout the race. "I'm mega happy about my second win of the season in the German series. I knew that overtaking would not be easy here, so I made sure to get away really well," said Aron after the second race on the challenging dune circuit on the North Sea coast." I then quickly overtook Gianluca and asserted my lead." With his victory, he was following the example of his brother Ralf, who took two wins at the Circuit Zandvoort in Formula 3 in 2018.
Leclerc spun off into the gravel trap on the very first lap and then had to park up his damaged car, leading to the safety car coming out on track while Pourchaire remained in P5, waiting to seize his chance. "It's always good to be on top. For sure, I'm excited about it, but it's just a moment in time. The most important thing is winning the championship," said Pourchaire, "I'll keep pushing but not take too many risks. It's really important to be consistent in this championship."
Pourchaire's championship rivals, Dennis Hauger and Gianluca Petecof, did not make life easy for themselves. The Norwegian launched an attack on the Brazilian, who maintained an aggressive line, causing Hauger to spin and be overtaken by the whole field. The stewards decided six minutes before the end that Petecof had defended his second place unfairly, so Prema Powerteam's driver had to serve a drive-through penalty. Aron, Rasmussen and Pourchaire benefited out in front and finished on the podium.
Estner achieved a lights-to-flag victory home in the afternoon race. "Incredible! The weekend didn't start all that well, did it? So now, let's see what we can achieve at the Nürburgring," said the 17-year-old after giving his team a home win.
Leclerc also had a strong race initially, moving up from last to ninth place by the half-way stage. However, he lost control just before the chequered flag. After making a move on the driver in front, the Frenchman spun following a lock-up. He was attempting to get his car facing the right way but did not see Laszlo Toth (19, Budapest/Hungary, R-ace GP), who could not avoid him.
The safety car was deployed and stayed out until shortly before the end of the race. Estner out in front had an error-free drive and secured his maiden victory in the ADAC Formula 4. Alessandro Ghiretti (17, France, US Racing CHRS) came home behind him to take his third podium finish of the season ahead of Swiss driver, Grégoire Saucy (19, R-ace GP), who finished in the Top Three for the first time in this eleventh round of the ADAC Formula 4.
The drivers now have very little time to relax, as Races 12, 13 and 14 are scheduled for next weekend at the Nürburgring.