ADAC Formula 4 – Hockenheimring
Dennis Hauger began the Hockenheimring weekend of the ADAC Formula 4 championship with victory, as pre-race championship leader Theo Pourchaire collided with US Racing team-mate Arthur Leclerc.
Pourchaire held the lead at the start and during the opening few laps as a safety car intervention paused proceedings but found himself relegated to second by Hauger at the hairpin on lap four.
The Red Bull Junior then edged away as Pourchaire was put under pressure from Leclerc, and in a move similar to what Hauger did, Leclerc attacked his team-mate but collided with the Frenchman, putting him out of the race.
Hauger was able to take the chequered flag first, the Van Amersfoort Racing driver ending 1.569 seconds clear of Leclerc who was able to survive the contact with Pourchaire, while Joshua Dürksen took the final spot on the podium for Mücke Motorsport after coming out on top of a battle with Prema Powerteam’s Paul Aron.
Gregoire Saucy took fifth for R-ace GP ahead of Prema’s Gianluca Petecof, with the Brazilian having climbed from the back of the field up to sixth. Ido Cohen took seventh for Van Amersfoort Racing with Roman Stanek (US Racing), Oliver Rasmussen (Prema Powerteam) and Andreas Estner (Van Amersfoort Racing) completing the top ten.
Hauger secured a second victory of the weekend in Germany in race two as a stall at the start gave Pourchaire more pain. The win promotes Hauger to second in the championship standings.
Both Pourchaire and Aron were left behind at start to give Hauger a significant advantage at the front, and the Norwegian was comfortable able to control the race thereafter, finishing 3.298 seconds clear of Petecof.
Initially it was Mikhael Belov of R-ace GP who was running third, but the Russian dropped behind the battling pair of Leclerc and Dürksen, with the Monegasque racer ultimately claiming the final spot on the podium. Once clear of Dürksen, Leclerc was able to gap the Paraguayan racer by the tune of more than four seconds.
Estner and Cohen gave Van Amersfoort Racing sixth and seventh ahead of Prema’s Rasmussen, while Aron recovered from his poor getaway to claim ninth ahead of Stanek. Pourchaire wasn’t able to do as well, finishing down in twelfth behind Saucy after battles with Lucas Alecco Roy, Alessandro Ghiretti and Nico Gohler. Saucy had been running ahead of Stanek before dropping behind both the Estonian and Czech racers.
For the first time in the history of the ADAC Formula 4 championship, one driver took all three race victories across a race weekend, with Hauger claiming the hat trick to move to within one point of the championship lead.
Despite the Norwegian starting eighth as a result of the reverse grid rules of the series, Hauger was fourth by the end of the first lap and then worked his way to the front of the field with some expect moves on those ahead.
It soon became a Van Amersfoort Racing one-two-three at the front as Rasmussen crashed out at Sachs Kurve to bring out the safety car, but on the restart, Stanek made a move for third ahead of Estner before he worked his way ahead of Cohen for second.
Cohen held off the challenge of Belov for the final spot on the podium, helped a little by the SMP Racing-backed Russian having a broken front wing, while Estner held on for fifth ahead of Pourchaire. The sixth place ensured Pourchaire left the Hockenheimring with the slenderest of advantages at the top of the standings and came despite a first lap spin!
Dürksen was ahead of Pourchaire only to run wide on the final lap to fall behind the Frenchman, with the Paraguayan also falling behind Roy, Petecof and Ghiretti to the bottom of the top ten. Unfortunately for Roy, the German was handed a post-race time penalty to relegate him to thirteenth, promoting those behind him up a place and bringing Saucy into the top ten.
Leclerc was an unfortunate early retirement with a mechanical issue, as was Gohler, while Aron retired after first lap contact with Petecof and Lazslo Toth.