ADAC Formel 4 

ADAC Formel 4·11.11.2020

Team champions Van Amersfoort Racing in profile: Dutch talent factory beats championship runners-up jinx

The season grand finale turned into a powerful demonstration of sheer class as Van Amersfoort Racing flexed their muscles once more in the final round of the ADAC Formula 4 at Oschersleben. Newly crowned champion Jonny Edgar and championship runner-up Jak Crawford had an excellent showing, especially in the first two races where they emerged triumphant. Even before the weekend, VAR looked certain to take the team title. In the end, the Dutch outfit had a 137-point lead on Kerpen-based US Racing, enabling team founder Frits Van Amersfoort and Team Manager Peter van Erp to beat the championship runners-up jinx. In recent year, Van Amersfoort Racing have finished second in the team classification four times in a row but have now achieved their first overall victory.

“I can only congratulate the team,” said van Erp. “The year has not been easy for various reasons. This is a really remarkable achievement.” US Racing, the championship-winning team from the past two years, proved to be tough opponents again, but this season, there was no way of getting past Van Amersfoort, the talent factory with a long history. Between them, Edgar and Crawford won eleven of the season’s 21 races and only four rounds were not won by a Van Amersfoort driver – results that speak volumes.

The journey began in 1975 for the Dutch outfit when motor racing enthusiast Frits van Amersfoort turned his hobby into a job and set up his own racing team. He was infected with the passion for cars early on in life. “I grew up with cars,” said team founder van Amersfoort, looking back. “We had a garage at home when I was young. My older brother and I went to Zandvoort together for the first time and I’ve wanted to be part of racing ever since that first encounter. The outfit continued to develop slowly but surely. “In the beginning, I used to sleep upstairs in the office, but fortunately, things are different now,” joked Managing Director Rob Niessink, who has also been involved in the team’s development for many years.

The outfit from Zeewolde in the Netherlands gradually began to make a name for itself as a talent factory. In 1992, for example, Jos Verstappen competed for the team and dominated the then Formula Opel Lotus. In the years that followed, it became clear that the doors to a career in international motorsport will open to any Van Amersfoort Racing driver able to deliver the goods. Tom Coronel, Christijan Albers, Jaap van Lagen – the list of successful drivers, who took their first steps in the sport with the Dutch outfit is long and prominent. In the last ten years, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen also followed their example and lined up for Van Amersfoort in the Formula 3 European Championship. They now belong to the Formula 1 elite.

Formula 4, introduced by the FIA World Automobile Federation, slotted neatly into the outfit’s portfolio, and since 2015, F4 has bridged the gap between karting and formula racing, enabling the transition between the two to be made very smoothly. Van Amersfoort Racing became an integral part of the new class in Europe, and the team was extremely committed to the series from Day one, especially in the ADAC Formula 4. With the signing of Mick Schumacher, Van Amersfoort Racing made headlines all over the world and not just in Germany, and even if the son of record-breaking Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher only stayed for one season, success did not depart with him, on the contrary.

In 2016, Joey Mawson won VAR’s first driver’s title in the German Formula 4 championship, and the Dutch outfit also demonstrated their enormous consistency in the team standings by finishing runner-ups four times in a row. Their consistent showing plus the fact that they had the strongest two drivers in the field made Van Amersfoort Racing the dominant force in the ADAC Formula 4 during the 2020 season. Once again, the key to success proved to be working with Red Bull. Both Edgar and Crawford belong to the Formula 1 outfit’s Academy for Juniors. Norway’s Dennis Hauger delivered plenty of strong performances in Red Bull’s colours last year and narrowly missed winning the title. This year, though, VAR not only won the driver’s title but also achieved the ‘double’ while bringing their season to a fitting conclusion at the same time.