Preining Takes Maiden Victory In Front of Home Crowd

ADAC Formel 4 - 5. Event 2016 - Red Bull Ring, AUT - Foto: Gruppe C

Thomas Preining took his first ADAC Formula 4 Championship race victory as he broke away from pole and the subsequent restarts.

A tantalising race from the Red Bull Ring, saw two safety cars intervene in Preining’s success. The Austrian was quick on both restarts, comfortably holding a gap over second place Juri Vips.

As the lights went out, it was Vips who made the best get away, jumping to second as the grid filed through safely. Vips ran wide at turn three allowing Preining a break, with the top five soon building up a gap to Felipe Drugovich and the others.

Soon, Joey Mawson and Mick Schumacher found their way through the traffic. Starting eleventh and fifteenth respectively, the championship leaders knew it would be tough to dispose of their rivals. As the result of race one determine the grid for race three, a top ten finish was vital.

Further back, Fabio Scherer saw his race end early as he was flipped upside into the first turn; Determined to defend twentieth position, he edged Jonathan Aberdein to the inside of the track,  Aberdein was unable to stop in time and clattered into the side of the Jenzer Motorsport driver.

A safety car was inevitably called as Scherer was removed. This destroyed the lead of Preining, who had pulled away by a second and a half to Vips in second.

The restart didn’t last long, Jannes Fittje was determined to move into the top ten, and made a move on the inside of Lirim Zendeli, knocking the Mucke Motorsport driver off circuit. Fittje broke his suspension and retired.

With 5 minutes to go, the race was restarted and Mawson was not holding back as he battled with Mike Ortmann, taking fourth. Schumacher played it safe and didn’t push too hard.

It proved to be a wise strategy as Nicklas Neilsen and Schumacher made their way past the off-line Ortmann to take fifth and sixth. Battles continued up and down the field, but the biggest was for third as Mawson pressured Kim-Luis Schramm.

Schramm, one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, held on to claim the final podium place. This left Preining to claim victory in the opening race from Vips in second.

Neilsen held on to fifth from Schumacher, Ortmann and Drugovich. The top ten was eventually rounded out by Michael Waldherr and Simo Laaksonen. The Finn thus takes pole for race three tomorrow.