Felipe Drugovich took his maiden win of the 2017 ADAC Formula 4 campaign during the reverse grid race around the Laustizring. The Brazilian benefits from a dire weekend for many of his rivals taking second in the championship standings, ensuring six drivers have won the first six races.
The start, as many expected, did not end without a safety car, initially caused by the Prema Powerteam cars, with Juri Vips spun by teammate Marcus Armstrong. Further round the course, Juan Manuel Correa, in the third Prema car, got caught up with Richard Wagner, bringing out the safety car.
The race would restart, with the Van Amersfoort Racing cars all within the top three, Louis Gachot heading the train. Drugovich had been in third, but was determined to prove himself as the team leader, pressuring Fredrik Vesti before taking the place.
Behind them, Lirim Zendeli retook fourth, having fallen behind from his second place on the grid. His time towards the front was short-lived though, as his front-right tyre detached itself. Jonathan Aberdein meanwhile, spun in front of the field, eventually retiring after light contact with the barrier.
Back at the front, Gachot was struggling to keep up with the leaders, as he dropped to fourth behind Kim-Luis Schramm, allowing Drugovich to take the lead.
Drugovich would come under pressure from Vesti for the majority of the race, but held on for his first win of the year, a result that put him truly into the championship battle.
Vesti’s second would be his best result of the year, as Schramm continued his run of strong results in third, having dropped Gachot in the closing stages.
Julian Hanses had been running fourth at the restart, but fell behind Zendeli (prior to his incident) and Schramm, ensuring the US Racing driver had a quiet event, finishing fifth as he edged away from the Neuhauser Racing pair.
Andreas Estner would secure sixth, while teammate Michael Waldherr took his first points of the year after intense pressure from Sophia Florsch, who will lament on another poor weekend.
A final lap battle saw Nicklas Nielsen aggressively look for a way past Leonard Hoogenboom, only to settle for a single point. This may be vital though, with two Prema’s retiring and Correa only recovering to eleventh.
Championship Standings after Round 2 – Vips – 72; Drugovich – 69; Hanses – 61; Schramm – 54; Nielsen – 46; Scherer – 43; Correa – 36; Zendeli – 35; Armstrong – 35; Aberdein – 34.