Oschersleben once again hosts opening weekend of single-seater racing academy Home race for Team Lotus and for Berlin-based driver Hendrik Grapp at venue near Magdeburg International line-up of talented youngsters from seven countries - Callan O'Keeffe first South African to contest Formel ADAC
Formel ADAC goes into its sixth season on the weekend of 26th to 28th April at the etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. The motor racing circuit near Magdeburg traditionally stages the opening rounds of the ADAC junior series. Past experience has shown that these first three races are a reliable indicator of how the rest of the season will pan out, with the eventual champions in the past four years chalking up at least one victory on the opening weekend. No surprise then that Dutchwoman Beitske Visser (18) has set herself the target of winning one or more of the three races at the first meeting of the season: "Taking the title is my goal this time round, so I want to get my campaign off to a perfect start with a win at Oschersleben." The 18-year-old impressed in the previous season with two Formel ADAC wins, making her the most successful female contestant in the history of the junior series. Visser's outstanding year in the ADAC academy for open-wheel racing did not go unnoticed; her reward was to become the first ever woman to be awarded a place in the Red Bull Junior Team, which was also where three-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel began his career: "I am very proud that contesting the Formel ADAC championship has culminated in this opportunity to be part of the Red Bull Junior Team." Visser is also delighted that Oschersleben constitutes a home race for her Lotus team. Varied international field of contestants Team Lotus will not be the only outfit to benefit from the boost that comes from contesting a home race. Mcke Motorsport regard the Oschersleben circuit as home turf, as does Berliner Hendrik Grapp (19) who will be representing ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. "In my second year of Formel ADAC racing, I'd like to be considered a contender for the title," says Grapp. "Because of the highly competitive field, though, that's going to be a big ask. So at Oschersleben, I'll be quite content with a Top Three finish." The experienced drivers such as Visser and Grapp are facing tough competition this season. The starting line-up includes no fewer than 24 young hopefuls this time. "With the field of competitors being so large this season, I'm expecting some very exciting races," says Grapp gamely. Once again, the junior series has attracted entries from all around the world - seven different nationalities in all. Callan O'Keeffe (16, Lotus) becomes the first South African to compete in the series. And like fellow Lotus driver Beitske Visser, O'Keeffe is also a member of the Red Bull Junior Team. Oschersleben: A challenging circuit This 3.696km racetrack near Magdeburg gives the drivers the perfect setting to showcase their skills right at the start of the season. "I just can't wait for the first race," says Visser. "Oschersleben presents some tough technical issues. The focus will be on nursing the tyres through to the end of the race, because it can be quite cool even in late April." Grapp is particularly excited about the long sweeping corners at Oschersleben. The Mcke Motorsport driver has already identified the biggest challenge for newcomers to the racing scene: "The triple left-hander is enough to test anyone's nerve. I'm hoping that my experience from last year will stand me in good stead on this section. In qualifying especially, it's absolutely crucial to get the most out of the tyres without destroying them." Encouraging new talent in Formel ADAC The ADAC open-wheel series have long had a reputation for bringing on the next generation of racing drivers such as Formula 1 stars Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hlkenberg and Nico Rosberg. And some of the big names in DTM including Martin Tomczyk and Timo Glock also launched their successful careers in the ADAC junior formula series. Reigning Formel ADAC champion Marvin Kirchhfer is staying with Lotus but has made the step up to the ATS Formula 3 Cup, another of the support series contested in the framework of the ADAC GT Masters weekends. The ADAC Junior Racer of the Year continues to receive support from the ADAC Sports Foundation as one of its protgs. The foundation is also sponsoring two other talented youngsters in this year's Formel ADAC: Maximilian Gnther and Jason Kremer.