Joint team principals Ralf Schumacher and Gerhard Ungar beamed with pride on Sunday as Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany) held the ADAC Formula 4 champion's trophy aloft into the late afternoon sky at Hockenheim and David Schumacher (16, Germany) received his cup for best Rookie. The reason they were so pleased was because their Kerpen-based outfit, US Racing CHRS, had achieved something quite unique on the closing weekend of the season at the historic track in Baden-Württemberg; it was the first time in the four-year history of the ADAC High-Speed Academy that any team had managed to sweep the board and win all three titles.
"That was certainly a mega season. We're all really pleased - more than pleased, in fact," said Ralf Schumacher after this 20th race in 2018. "A lot of hard work has gone into this season, but it all paid off today. We've also done well in the previous three years and have been among the front-runners, but winning all three titles is now most definitely the icing on the cake."
With ten wins this season, new champion Zendeli beat the record set in 2016 by Joey Mawson in a Van Amersfoort car. David Schumacher in his first year in Formula 4 consistently secured good results, and after the second race at the Hockenheimring on Saturday, nobody was in a position to deprive him of the rookie title.
And so the ex-Formula 1 and DTM driver had nothing but praise for his outstanding drivers: "Lirim delivered and was incredible. He's now in his third year, dealt brilliantly well with tough situations and made no mistakes. Respect! David too has done an excellent job following his move from karting. His learning curve has been steep throughout. Towards the end of the season, he was always up there with the more established drivers, including today."
The strong USR squad took the wind out of the sails of their Van Amersfoort Racing rivals in the last race of the season. The Dutch team began the final weekend at Hockenheim with a podium lockout, but Zendeli, Schumacher and the rest of the squad reeled them back in on Sunday to clinch the team title with 562 points to VAR's 521 and the 416 of last year's winners, the Italians of Prema Theodore Racing.
Despite the triple success, Ralf Schumacher was in no mood to rest on his laurels: the new season is already at the planning stage, even though there are still a number of question marks: "The team will continue in the next season."
Building a new team and bringing on talented youngsters are key components in the recipe for success of the Kerpen-based outfit run by Schumacher and Gerhard Ungar. Ungar first set up the team under the name of HTP F4 Junior Team Ungar in 2015. In its debut season contesting ADAC Formula 4, it had its first champion in the shape of Marvin Dienst. In 2016, when Ralf Schumacher came on the scene, the team began operating under the name US Racing. At the end of that season, they finished fourth in the team classification, with series newcomer Zendeli coming fifth in the rookie class. In the following season, he would finish fourth in the general classification. Having now won the treble leaves Ralf Schumacher relaxed as he looks forward to the winter break: "We're celebrating for the moment, but after that, we'll see what's next."