It was a weekend with perfect weather, when the second round of ADAC Formula 4 2019 was run at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
It had been six weeks since the season opener in Oschersleben, so it was almost like a new start for all the teams.
A very nice grid of 25 cars, with a bit of help from some guest entries from the Italian F4 Championship, had taken the trip to the Steiermark.
Dennis Hauger had taken Pole Position for race 1, ahead of Alessandro Ghiretti, championship leader Roman Stanek, Alessandro Famularo, Theo Pourchaire and Niklas Krütten.
The first two got off to a good start, while Famularo had made it into third, while Stanek dropped all the way to P8.
There was three cars who didn’t get away from the grid initially, but thankfully everybody else avoided hitting Paul Aron, Gregoire Saucy and Theo Pourchaire.
The wide track, with several long straights, meant that the F4 really could battle side by side – sometimes three-man wide.
There was Safety Car after 5 minutes since Joshua Dürksen and Ivan Berets had a contact, so there were two stranded cars on the track, which needed to be recovered.
Luckily it only lasted for two laps, before the race went green again.
Gianluca Petecof had a bad qualifying, starting only 12th, but he quickly made his way in top five, hunting down the podium positions.
The Finish racer William Alatalo made a guest appearance this weekend, but he was all the way up in fourth in one of the pink ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. cars – also known as Mücke Motorsport.
Roee Meyuhas had a gravelly moment in Turn 5, but was able to rejoin the track without assistance.
Lucas Alecco Roy lost his front wing, when he went into the back of Ido Cohen. It wasn’t the first time that these two drivers had been in contact – but it’s not so clever when you are teammates.
There was more Van Amersfoort Racing team internal battling, when Ido Cohen overtook Sebastian Estner – but without rubbin’. There was more respect between the two of them.
Niklas Krütten and Roman Stanek had a tough battle for sixth. The fight between the pair meant that Arthur Leclerc could join the mix. Stanek tried to outbrake Kütten several times, but failed every time. That resulted in Oliver Rasmussen being able to close the gap, and then there were four drivers battling for P6.
Famularo lost two places, so he fell back to fifth.
It was a bit of a disappointing end to the race, with Paul Aron and Giorgio Carrera clashing, resulting in a Safety Car period to recover the cars from Turn 5. But with just two minutes of racing to do, the race never got up to speed again.
But Dennis Hauger won the race ahead of Alessandro Ghiretti and William Alatalo.
Dennis Hauger started Race 2 from Pole Position as well, ahead of Theo Pourchaire, Alessandro Famularo, Ido Cohen, Roman Stanek and Arthur Leclerc.
Hauger took the start ahead of Famularo and Cohen.
Jonny Edgar lost his front wing in a midfield battle, so had to pit.
Pourchaire managed to climb up the field again, after a bad start, and was back in third position after about 10 minutes of running.
That was right before the Safety Car was called on track, due to Nico Göhler being stuck in the Turn 5 gravel.
The recovery went so fast, that the race went back green after just a single lap of slow speed.
Leclerc was going forward, and overtook Joshua Dürksen in the battle for sixth. He also passed Ido Cohen shortly thereafter, making it into fifth.
Gianluca Petecof had gained a total of 14 positions, in the first half of the race only, after a horrible qualifying.
Alessandro Ghiretti smashed into the rear of Ivan Berets in Turn 1, so the who wing and nose cone assemble on Ghiretti’s car flew away, while Berets rear was so damaged, that he couldn’t continue. The recovery was done under a local yellow flag.
Joshua Dürksen had a high-speed trip through the gravel in the Turn 9-10 combination, but managed to rejoin the track again without any outside assistance.
Famularo made a huge mistake, spinning out of third position all by himself, and fell back to 13th.
Dennis Hauger crossed the line first, but was handed a 30-second penalty for ignoring yellow flags, so Theo Pourchaire won the race ahead of William Alatalo and Arthur Leclerc.
Championship leader Roman Stanek had a bad race, finishing all the way back in 21st position.
Niklas Krütten started race 3 from Pole Position ahead of Giorgio Carrera, Paul Aron, Ido Cohen, Gianluca Petecof and Arthur Leclerc.
Laszio Toth stopped at the formation lap, but got the car fired up again.
Krütten took the start ahead of Carrera and Petecof.
Joshua Dürksen was in trouble at the end of the first lap, after light contact with Oliver Rasmussen. Dürksen went off track, and when he rejoined, he took one of the corner markers with him, which was a small plastic tube that was launch onto the car of Jonny Egner, being collected by the front suspension, until it flew off the car a few turns later.
Famularo went off the track, and he had to retire.
Sebastian Estner lost the front wing on the track, so the German would have to pit for a new one.
The front wing was laying right in the middle of the circuit, so a brief Safety Car period was needed, in order to recover it.
Dennis Hauger was racing through the field again, and took full advantage of some of the other drivers not making a swift restart, getting him into 7th.
Dürksen once again got the attention of the TV cameras, when he launch over the curbs on the inside of Turn 1, in his attempt to make an overtake. That sent the car into the air, before it landed on all four wheels again – and he miraculously could continue in the race.
Another Safety Car period was needed when Gianluca Petecof was run down from behind by Giorgio Carrera. Carrera tried to overtake Petecof, but went all the way over the Brazilians car, resulting in both cars retiring. Luckily both drivers were OK.
The race went green again with 12 minutes left on the clock.
Willaim Alatalo managed to overtake Arthur Leclerc in the battle for fourth.
Dennis Hauger had really taken full advantage of the many Safety Car periods, and was all the way up to second, with 10 minutes left of the race. So at that point it was a Van Amersfoort Racing 1-2.
The two teammates started battling each other, with the Norwegian driver able to getting the nose ahead a few times, while German Krütten bounched back.
That duel was broken up once again, when Laszio Toth stopped on track, after being hit by Joshua Dürksen. Both cars were out of the race.
Battle resumed with four minutes to go.
Krütten, Hauger and Aron all started fighting hard of the lead of the race, before Krütten and Hauger managed to get a bit of a gab to Aron. The two did however fight so much, that Aron managed to close the gab and pass the two combatants within just a few corners.
Hauger actually ended up retiring from the race, due to damage that he had sustained in the battle with Krütten.
So that resulted in a battle for third in the race. Pourchaire, Alatalo and Leclerc were all fight hard over the last podium spot.
But Paul Aron won the race ahead of Niklas Krütten and Theo Pourchaire.
The results from the weekend sends Theo Pourchaire into the Championship lead, ahead of Niklas Krütten, Arthur Leclerc, Roman Stanek and Paul Aron. These five drivers are separated by just 10 points, which is quite extraordinary after 6 races.
Now another six weeks of summer break awaits the drivers, before the third round of ADAC Formula 4 will run on 26-28 July at the Hockenheimring, as a supporting act to the Formula 1 race.