Plenty of spins, some great overtaking manoeuvres and an ice-cool winner - in the most spectacular race of the year so far, Vladislav Lomko (15, US Racing) defied the difficult conditions at the DEKRA Lausitzring to celebrate his second victory of the 2020 ADAC Formula 4. The Russian beat Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP) and birthday boy Elias Seppänen (17, Finland, US Racing) on an already wet track as more rain set in. Championship leader Jonny Edgar (16, England, Van Amersfoort Racing) finished seventh and is still comfortably on course to win the title. He extended his lead over team-mate Jak Crawford (15, USA), who finished eighth behind Edgar, to 30 points. The weekend's other two races will be contested on Sunday. Free-to-air TV channel SPORT1 is showing all three High-Speed Academy races on TV, and they can also be watched online as a livestream on SPORT1.de, YouTube.com/adac, the Facebook page of ADAC Formula 4 and adac.de/motorsport.
"That was a pretty tough race, and there were quite a few surprises," said race winner Lomko. "But the race was cool for me, I don't think I could have improved on anything. I really enjoyed it. They are forecasting rain for tomorrow, and I'm hopeful of the same result again."
Pole-sitter Seppänen, who had been greeted by his team with a chorus of 'Happy Birthday To You', did not get off to a good start on the wet track, immediately surrendering the lead to team-mate Tim Tramnitz. The 15-year-old from Hamburg made a perfect start from third place on the grid. Behind them, not a great deal was happening at first, as the field formed a convoy and Joshua Dürksen (17, Berlin, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) successfully defended his third place against Lomko. By the start of the second lap, Tramnitz had already pulled out a clear lead, but he then lost control of his car in turn six and spun. As a result, the ADAC Sports Foundation protégé fell back to seventh place. Seppänen took the lead, closely followed by Dürksen.
The Berliner, who himself had only celebrated his 17th birthday on Tuesday, was in no mood to gift anything to Seppänen and took the lead with a great move one lap later. Shortly afterwards, Seppänen came unstuck in turn seven, which quite a few of the drivers were finding a challenge. The Finn skidded off the track and came back in sixth place ahead of Tramnitz. Behind them, Edgar and Crawford seemed content to drive an unspectacular race, but then the American also made a small error which took him on an off-track excursion.
In the closing stages, Dürksen looked to have the race sewn up when he too became a victim of the tricky seventh corner. Eight minutes before the end of the race, he went through the gravel and out of contention for the podium. Just before that, Lomko had already overtaken second-placed Bernier and took the lead thanks to Dürksen's slip-up. By the time he reached the finish line, the Russian had established a five-second lead. It was win number two of the season, the first having come at the Nürburgring in equally grim conditions.
Dürksen finished fourth ahead of Oliver Bearman (15, England, US Racing) and Kirill Smal (15, Russia, R-ace GP). Next came the two Red Bull Juniors Edgar and Crawford. Tramnitz came home in ninth position after yet another spin. Israel's Roee Meyuhas (20, R-ace GP) score the remaining championship point.
After the race, Edgar expressed himself content to have merely stayed on the track: "The first laps were really difficult, with so many drivers spinning off. I just wanted to stay on the track as much as possible. And that was really hard to do." At the Lausitzring in early August, the English teenager won the first two races of the season opener, both times in dry conditions. Edgar is therefore hoping for help from above for the two races on Sunday: "It would be nice if it were dry tomorrow. The first weekend, we were strong here in the dry, but nobody has raced in the dry this weekend. That would make for an interesting situation." But his starting position could hardly be more difficult. Edgar goes into the second race on Sunday morning (09:30 CET) from the back of the grid. The third race follows at 12:30 CET.
Further comment on the ADAC Formula 4 race
Elias Seppänen (P3, US Racing): "Third place is not the optimum outcome. I didn't get off to the best of starts - I had wheel spin and Tim was able to overtake me. Then he made a mistake, which allowed me to retake the lead, but then I spun off the track myself. This dropped me back to sixth place, but after that, I was able to work my way back up to third. I think the race could have gone better, but it was my mistake, so in the circumstances, the result is OK."