Victory in the opening race of the weekend at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands has ensured Australian Joey Mawson remains atop of the standings in the 2016 ADAC German Formula 4 Championship.
With one round remaining, and a maximum of 75 championship points up for grabs, the PODIUM-backed driver now sits 39 points clear of Mick Schumacher in the chase for the championship.
Competing at the Zandvoort circuit for the first time in his career Mawson qualified his Van Amersfoort Racing entry on pole position before going on to dominate the opening 30-minute encounter.
Mawson took full advantage of his front row start to open a 3.5 second lead within the opening half of the race, only to have it diminished by the deployment of the safety car mid-way through the race. After the restart Mawson continued his dominance to cross the line almost two seconds clear of his nearest rival.
With his qualifying session being cut short by a red flag as Mawson was on his second flying lap he was forced to start race two from 12th position. After making a good start he had moved his way up to eighth place and pressuring Thomas Preining for seventh in the second half of the race. While attempting a pass the pair made contact that damaged Mawson’s front wing and he had to pit to have it replaced. The final stages of the race were controlled by the safety car leaving Mawson to be classified 27th.
Heavy rain descended on the circuit prior to the start of race three leading officials to start the race under the control of the safety car. After several laps under controlled conditions the green flag was displayed, only for the safety car to be again deployed less than a lap later.
A second attempt was taken for the race to resume before a multi-car pile up caused the race to be red flagged and declared after less than two laps of green flag conditions with half championship points awarded. Just prior to the red flag being displayed Mawson had made his way past Schumacher and was on alongside Juan Manuel Correa who was in fifth position. After being squeezed to the inside of the circuit Mawson hit a pool of water and aqua-planed off the circuit.
“I leave the weekend with very mixed feelings, it was great to get the win in race one but I wasn’t able to capitalise on our speed in races two and three,” said Mawson.
“Prior to the weekend I was conscious that qualifying well was going to be vital, with the red flag in my qualifying session it cost me a good starting position in race two but that’s the way it goes sometimes. You win some, you lose some.
“I’ve now got 39 points between myself and Mick in the battle for the championship so it is really going to go down to the wire at Hockenheim. I know we’ve had great speed all year long but there’s still three races to go before the champion is decided.”
With one round remaining, Mawson heads the standings on 324 points with Schumacher second on 285. Mike-David Ortmann is a further 62 points further back in third place.
The final round of the championship will be held at Hockenheim on September 30-October 2.