ADAC Formel 4 

ADAC Formula 4·24.4.2022

Rookie Camara claims his first win of the season in Spa

Kacper Sztuka on the podium for Racing. Conrad Laursen fights back to finish third. Close title race: Antonelli leads Camara by one point.

Kacper Sztuka, Rafael Camara and Conrad Laursen (from left) represent Poland, Brazil and Denmark on the podium © Photo: ADAC

Rafael Camara (Prema Racing) celebrated his maiden victory in ADAC Formula 4 on Sunday. After a host of overtaking manoeuvres and an action-packed final third of the race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the Brazilian eventually emerged triumphant ahead of Kacper Sztuka (US Racing) from Poland and his Danish team-mate Conrad Laursen. In doing so, Camara presented the Prema Racing team with its third victory at the season-opener, which took place at the Formula 1 circuit in the Ardennes, Belgium. “I am overjoyed to have won. That was hard work, but a lot of fun. The whole weekend has just been great,” said Camara. The 16-year-old finished runner-up in both races on Saturday.

The race, which featured on the support programme for the 24H Series, saw 21 drivers from 17 countries go head-to-head in brand-new, 180-hp Tatuus Formula 4 cars. Pole-sitter Marcus Amand (US Racing) made a good start in dry conditions and temperatures around 11 degrees Celsius. The field initially remained closely bunched together, thanks to the appearance of the safety car on lap two. At the re-start, the 16-year-old Frenchman was wide awake and successfully defended his lead. Behind him, some spectacular slipstream battles played out on the long Kemmel straight, as the order was given a real shake-up.

Marcus Amand (16/FRA/US Racing) at the front of the field © Photo: ADAC

This all allowed Amand to open a small gap ahead of the chasing pack, while Camara set about working his way through the field: Having started from seventh on the grid, he found himself running second after six laps. The decisive overtaking manoeuvre took place on lap nine of the 7.004-kilometre circuit, as Camara passed Sztuka to take the lead. “The first podium in ADAC Formula 4 feels good. I could definitely have won, but I am happy with second place,” said 16-year-old Sztuka, who started the race from fifth place.

Third across the finish line was Laursen. The 16-year-old produced an impressive fightback to guide his car onto the podium from 19th on the grid. “I cannot believe I made it onto the podium. The traffic was mad at the start, but I then quickly found my rhythm and kept my cool,” said Laursen. Andrea Kimi Antonelli (15/ITA) finished fourth behind his team-mate. The reverse grid rule meant Saturday’s double winner started from eighth place. Charlie Wurz (16/Prema Racing) also made up plenty of positions: The son of former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz started the 30-minute race from 17th place but still made it into the top five. Came home behind the Austrian in sixth, followed by the second-best rookie, Alfio Spina (15/ITA/BWR Motorsport), in seventh place. Nikita Bedrin (16/ITA/PHM Racing), James Wharton (15/AUS/Prema Racing) and Rasmus Joutsimies (19/FIN/Jenzer Motorsport) completed the top ten.

Charlie Wurz (16/AUT/Prema Racing) heads into the legendary Eau Rouge passage © Photo: ADAC

The second race weekend in the ADAC’s high-speed school will also share the bill with the 24H Series, this time at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from 13th to 15th May, when the stars of tomorrow will battle it out for more points at the 4.574-kilometre former F1 circuit. Antonelli leads the championship with 62 points, just one point ahead of Camara.