Van Amersfoort driver Oliver Bearman claims a lights-to-flag victory in Sunday’s first race. Kirill Smal wins race three at CM.com Circuit Zandvoort.
A dominant lights-to-flag win for Oliver Bearman and the first victory of the season for Prema driver Kirill Smal (16) were the standout stories from Sunday’s ADAC Formula 4 races at CM.com Circuit Zandvoort. Van Amersfoort driver Bearman claimed his second victory from pole position in race two at the spectacular circuit in the Dutch dunes. The 16-year-old Brit now holds a commanding lead at the top of the championship with 112 points. Bearman was joined on the podium by his team-mates Joshua Dufek (16, Switzerland) and Nikita Bedrin (15, Russia), making it a one-two-three for Van Amersfoort Racing at the Dutch team’s home event. In Sunday’s second race, it was the turn of young Russian Smal to celebrate. Second place went to his team-mate Sebastian Montoya (16, Columbia), ahead of ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Tim Tramnitz (16, Hamburg, US Racing).
“This victory feels fantastic. It was a very good race and I am extremely happy about our team success,” said Bearman after his fourth win of the season. Smal was also happy with more than just his own performance: “We did a super job in race three. I am proud of the whole team. We ended the weekend here in Zandvoort with first and second place. We can now travel home with a smile on our face.”
Race one saw a commanding display from championship leader Oliver Bearman, who converted his pole position into a lead at the start, and refused to give it up for the entire race, despite three safety car phases. Bearman had already enjoyed one lights-to-flag victory at the spectacular circuit on Saturday. “What a race! To occupy the first three places with my team-mates, I am delighted for the whole team. It is the reward for the hard work we are all putting in,” said a jubilant Bearman after the race. His team-mate Dufek said: “I am very happy with my second place, although I obviously always want to win. It’s not every day that you occupy the first three places as a team. We are all so happy.”
Fourth place went to Victor Bernier (16, France, R-ace GP), with Smal taking fifth place ahead of Tramnitz. Frenchman Sami Meguetounif (17, R-ace GP) was seventh. Montoya came home eighth. Completing the points positions were Luke Browning (19, Great Britain, US Racing) and Vlad Lomko (16, Russia, US Racing).
In the third race of the weekend, the reverse grid saw Montoya, who finished eighth in race two, start from pole position. The Columbian made a real mess of his start and Smal took advantage of his mistake to take the lead. Smal was not to be shifted from the front of the field, even after two safety car phases. Montoya seemed unaffected by his poor start, fighting back strongly to cross the finish line in second place. “The circuit here in Zandvoort is not actually suited to overtaking manoeuvres, but I was really quick and able to make up for my mistake. I will learn from the mistake, that is what they are there for,” said Montoya. Tramnitz finished third, with the otherwise dominant Bearman fourth. “It has obviously been a very good weekend for me on the whole, although I would have liked to have finished on the podium in the final race,” said the championship leader. Montoya climbs into second point in the overall standings on 72 points. Smal improves his standing by two positions and now lies third with 70 points, closely followed by Tramnitz (69).
Fifth place went to Bernier, with positions six to eight occupied by Browning, Dufek, and Leonardo Fornaroli (16, Italy, Iron Lynx). Taylor Barnard (17, Great Britain, BWR Racing) and Conrad Laursen (15, Denmark, Prema Powerteam) completed the top ten.
Bedrin is the dominant driver in this year’s rookie competition. He has won five of this season’s six races so far in his category, and consequently holds a comfortable lead: “I am learning every race and always try to do my best,” said the Van Amersfoort driver. Only in the final race in Zandvoort was Bedrin beaten. This time, the best rookie was Switzerland’s Michael Sauter (16, Sauter Engineering + Design), who finished twelfth.
The next race weekend takes place from 6th to 8th August at the Nürburgring in the Eifel Mountains. All the races can be seen live and free at motorsport.tv and adac.de/motorsport.