ADAC Formel 4 

ADAC Formula 4·5.7.2021

Van Amersfoort Racing travels to Zandvoort as championship leader in all categories

Frits van Amersfoort: “Maintain momentum from the first race weekend”. Olli Bearman is looking to back up his success at the season-opener. Van Amersfoort: “Always special to return to your roots.”

Top of the table in all three categories – Driver, Rooke and Team. It is no wonder that the Van Amersfoort Racing team is looking forward to its home event and is particularly motivated ahead of the second weekend of the ADAC Formula 4 season. The three races are available live on and on Saturday and Sunday (10th and 11th July).

Frits van Amersfoort is delighted with the success the team enjoyed at the opening race weekend, but is also well aware that it is “not over until the flag is waved”. However, the team principal is willing to admit that the “expectations are obviously high, after what we have seen so far. But we know that the opposition is strong and a lot can happen at a race weekend. The fact is that our drivers are very motivated and we, as a team, have confidence in the potential of each and every one of them.”

In Britain’s Olli Bearman (16), who won two races in Spielberg and leads the Drivers’ Championship ahead of the home outing, the established Dutch team has a driver who knows how to win. “Oliver is an intelligent driver and takes input on board like no other. He has already proven to be very strong and competitive this year. Together with him, we will do everything in our power to maintain this momentum. He definitely has it in him to be a champion, but he is not the only one on the grid.”

It is only about 80 kilometres from the team headquarters in Zeewolde to the racetrack in Zandvoort, and there is great anticipation ahead of the short trip to the track in the dunes. “The circuit has a long history. Every time we driver there, there is a great atmosphere. I raced here myself in the 70s, and it is always special to return to your roots,” says Frits van Amersfoort. “We will have a strong team and obviously want to finish on the podium. We are looking forward to our guests, but also to the Dutch fans. That is just one more source of motivation ahead of the race,” van Amersfoort continues.

This rings particularly true, as Zandvoort did not feature on the 2020 race schedule, due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, the circuit has been modified. However, what remains are the challenges that come with the proximity to the North Sea. “Wind and sand have always been part and parcel of racing in Zandvoort, so our engineers are definitely capable of conveying the specific ‘ins and outs of Zandvoort’ to our drivers,” says van Amersfoort. “As far as the layout is concerned, the drivers have had plenty of time to familiarise themselves with it in the simulator.”

Van Amersfoort has every confidence in the quality of his five-man team. As well as the two-time winner in Spielberg, Bearman, who spent his rookie season with the Kerpen-based US Racing team in 2020, VAR also claimed a further two podium finishes at the Red Bull Ring through Cenyu Han (16, China) and Nikita Bedrin (15, Russia). Furthermore, the young Russian leads the Rookie competition. “Our drivers come from five very different countries. It is, and has always been, fascinating to see how they all interact with each other. This season is no different to previous years. Even at their young age, you can see them learning from each other and turning their differences into advantages.” Switzerland’s Joshua Dufek (16) and Hungarian Bence Valint (16) complete the team.

Should the five drivers need any extra motivation, they need only take a look at what is happening in Formula 1, where Max Verstappen is on track to dethrone record world champion Lewis Hamilton. Max, along with his father Jos and other big names like Charles Leclerc, came through the VAR programme. Mick Schumacher also drove for Van Amersfoort Racing in the German Formula 4 Championship in 2015. “These names are definitely motivating factors for our drivers. For most drivers, Formula 1 is the ultimate goal and the reason they do what they do,” says Van Amersfoort. “I cannot speak for our drivers, but racing for a team that has worked with many drivers who have successfully made it into Formula 1 could certainly be a motivation. At the same time, it is clear that this is no guarantee that they will make it to the top. Absolute dedication and hard work are needed to climb the ladder.”

For VAR, ADAC Formula 4 has been a permanent part of its season planning ever since it was launched in 2015. “The standard of competition in the German Formula 4 Championship has always been high, right from day one. We have enjoyed highs and suffered lows, but looking back we have seen the championship grow from year to year. We are firmly convinced that the standard of the series has contributed to the development of many drivers. Looking ahead, which is what I prefer to do, we are looking forward to an exciting ADAC Formula 4 weekend in Zandvoort.”

When Van Amersfoort Racing made its first appearance in ADAC Formula 4 in 2016, it did so with a bang: Joey Mawson (Australia) and Kami Laliberté (Canada) claimed victories for the Dutch outfit. Five years later, the team is looking to follow on from that success. “Home wins are very special,” says van Amersfoort.