Ortmann Wins Race 1 to Establish championship challenge

by Connor Jackson

In the first ADAC Formula 4 race of the weekend, a strong start from Mike Ortmann saw him take the lead into the first corner, and kept the advantage for the whole twenty laps as his rivals battled behind. The race eventually finished under safety car allowing Ortmann to lead home the top four in the championship.

With championship leader Joey Mawson starting in fourth, polesitter Kim-Luis Schramm was hoping to make the most of the advantage, but had a poor start, falling down the order as Ortmann took the lead.

Despite getting through the first corner without incident, Juri Vips ensured the first lap ended in a safety car as he collided with Philip Hamprecht, spinning the Prema Powerteam driver. Toni Wolf was forced off with him and was eventually stuck in the gravel. The safety car was deployed as a result with Ortmann leading Mawson at the restart.

The Australian went on the immediate defensive, as he failed to keep Mick Schumacher behind him after running wide in the first corner. He didn’t keep it long though, as a mistake saw Schumacher drop back to third before the recovering Schramm took that position from the Prema driver.

Schumacher fell off the back off of Schramm as the race settled in, with the van Amersfoort Racing driver not giving Mawson any free space. The battle for second allowed Ortmann to extend his advantage at the front, meanwhile, the battle for the rookie win saw Juan Manuel Correa hold off Niklas Neilsen.

It was clear Schumacher was struggling as fifth place Jannes Fitte caught the him in the closing laps, mounting some pressure. However, the race ended behind a safety car, which was called with five minutes remaining in order to clear the stricken car of Kenneth Gulbrandsen.

Sadly for him and the rest of the field the safety car left them with no laps to improve allowing Ortmann to take the win and cement his championship challenge. Behind him, Mawson held off Schramm with the German losing more ground overall.

Despite his pace, Schumacher was able to hang onto fourth thanks to the safety car. Behind Fittje in fifth, the rookie battle left Correa to take the honours ahead of Nielsen. Meanwhile; Simo Laaksonen won his fight to finish eighth ahead of Kami Labiberte and Jonathan Aberdein.

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