Who will become 'half-time' champion in the ADAC Formula 4? Will Juri Vips (16, Estonia, Prema Powerteam) stay in front? Can Felipe Drugovich (17, Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing) overtake him, or will a completely different driver muscle his way into the lead? The fourth weekend of the ADAC High-Speed Academy at Oschersleben (July 7th -9th) will provide all the answers to these interesting questions. SPORT1 will broadcast races ten, eleven and twelve. Live streams will also be available at www.SPORT1.de and www.adac.de/motorsport.
The ADAC Formula 4 and the ADAC TCR Germany will compete side by side at Oschersleben as part of the support programme of the TCR International Series. The Motorsport Arena will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in style. On Saturday evening, cult East German rock band, 'City', will give a concert in the infield of the circuit.
Juri Vips is returning to the Motorsport Arena as the front-runner and with the confidence of having already won there. The Estonian finished on the top rung of the podium at the start of the season towards the end of April and followed that up with another win at the Red Bull Ring. Vips' ace in the pack at the moment is his sheer consistency. Only in the third race at the Lausitzring did he finish out of the points.
"I have great expectations for the races at Oschersleben," says Vips. "Especially after being so successful here at the start of the season. I'm hoping that we can pick up where we left off in Austria. The standard of drivers is extremely high. Every weekend, you have to produce your very best performance just to keep up." Nevertheless, the 16-year-old, who is in front with 119 points, is far from satisfied. He has spotted that he has the potential to improve, particularly in qualifying, because, as he told us: "You really can't afford to make any mistakes this year. They cost you dear."
Felipe Drugovich could benefit from a potential slip-up by Vips, as he is in second place on 102 points, just 17 down on the Estonian. The Brazilian, who caused a stir at Neuhauser Racing in his rookie year, 2016, has taken the next step forward with Van Amersfoort and is now hoping to win the title. His Dutch team have already shown that they are consistently fast and can produce champions. Van Amersfoort driver, Joey Mawson (21, Australia), took the title in 2016.
Drugovich has already won two races, like Vips, so the two are the only ones, who have finished twice on the top rung of the podium this year. Marcus Armstrong (16, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam) on 90 points is the main rival of the two front-runners. The Kiwi secured his first ever win in the ADAC Formula 4 in Austria and finished on the podium in all three races. "Oschersleben is a highly technical track which I enjoy competing on," says Armstrong. "Because the gaps have been so small in recent races, you have to stay totally focused if you want to keep up with the leaders."
Team Motopark, who are based in Oschersleben, are still without a win, and they have every intention of changing that at their home track. They are probably pinning their hopes on the South African, Jonathan Aberdein (19), who finished third twice in the season opener and has also regularly been among the fastest during the test days of the ADAC High-Speed Academy. "I spent a few weeks at home after the race weekend at the Red Bull Ring, was able to recharge my batteries and think about the first few races," says Jonathan. "I feel very comfortable in the car and at the track in Oschersleben. This could be the recipe for a good weekend."
The rookie championship is also exciting and hard-fought. Charles Weerts (16, Belgium, Motopark) is the front-runner in the junior rankings. He is on 141 points, just 15 up on Mick Wishofer (17, Austria, Lechner Racing) in fourth place. Wishofer's team-mate Richard Wagner (17, Germany) is currently second. He began the season without any karting or racing experience and is on 133 points. Laurin Heinrich (15, Germany) is third with 129 points. The 15-year-old will drive for Team Rennsport Rössler for the first time at Oschersleben.
A new face will be joining the ADAC Formula 4 at the Motorsport Arena when Oliver Caldwell (15, Great Britain, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) competes for the first time in the ADAC's High-Speed School. Caldwell usually lines up in British Formula 4 where he is the youngest entrant. He will drive as a guest entrant in the ADAC Formula 4.