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Smith v. Solvang Teil Eins

Chris Davies on 24th May 2022

With an international line up of eleven F4’s on the grid there was some exciting talent gathered for the opening round of the International German F4 Championship.

Britain’s Harvey Smith arrived in Traben-Trarbach with high hopes for some great racing, but it surpassed all his expectations. Amongst the drivers also gathered there was Andrè Faye Solvang from Drammen in Norway who, like Smith has committed himself to compete in the entire German Championship.

Saturday morning’s qualifying was an extremely tight affair as Solvang and Smith were separated by just 0.07 seconds with the Norwegian just having the upper hand on this occasion.

Solvang was delighted to be on pole


When I went down to Germany, we knew nothing about how fast we would be compared to the other racers, so to secure pole position in qualifying first time out was amazing.

The opening heat had only just got underway when out came the red flags and everyone headed back to the start pontoon.

Smith was less than impressed.


When we reached the first turn mark the race was red-flagged after some rather questionable lane-hopping resulted in Marvin Liehr flipping over, that was him done for the weekend. The rules were explained to us in the briefing that we all had to keep our lane until the 250metre marker buoy from which point we could choose our own line.

On the restart Smith had made it difficult for himself by being last to the top turn buoy. However, he found more speed on the outside of the course and proceeded to work his way through the field taking a hard fought second place, with Solvang ahead of him.

Heat Two saw Smith in the middle of the pack working his way to the front but after a boat went off course and re-joined a lap later it proceeded to hinder his progress leaving Solvang to collect another four hundred points, with Smith once again collecting three hundred for second.

On the third heat Solvang was able to get away at the front whilst Smith battled for second place with Dietmar Kaiser. Lap after lap the experienced German driver defended his line even though Smith certainly looked quicker. It wasn’t for the lack of trying but the British racer had to settle for third, though by all accounts it was definitely entertaining for the spectators to watch. At the end of the day Solvang took maximum points with Smith on the second step of the podium and the Dutch racer Mart Bokslag in third.


Formula 4 – race 1 (Saturday)


Pos. Boat
Name Nation Qualifying Heat 1
Heat 2
Heat 3
1 69 André SOLVANG NOR 0:42.06 400 400 400 1200
2 9 Harvey SMITH GBR 0:42.13 300 300 225 825
3 5 Mart BOKSLAG NED 0:43.81 225 225 127 577
4 3 Torsten STANGENBERG GER 0:42.70 169 169 169 507
5 40 Dietmar KAISER GER DNS 127 53 300 480
6 38 Cas VAN VEEREN NED 0:42.73 95 127 53 275
7 19 Max WINKLER GER 0:46.47 40 71 95 206
8 8 Olaf VAN SCHIJNDEL NED 0:45.36 71 95 DNF 166
9 33 Lukas GUTSCHMIDT GER 0:48.37 30 40 71 141

Sunday morning dawned sunny and bright. Once again, we would see Smith and Solvang slog it out this time for championship points for the cancelled round in Brodenbach. Smith set an impressive lap time early in qualifying to secure pole position from Solvang by over half a second. Torsten Stangenberg was third quickest.

In the first heat Smith once again came up against Kaiser who was lightning quick off the start pontoon. Ahead of both once more was Solvang, and this now set the pattern for the remaining two heats, although in the second one Smith did manage to get ahead of Kaiser but ran out of laps to really challenge the race leader.


The final heat was once again dominated by these three protagonists and once again Smith found a way past Kaiser early on leaving him time to catch Solvang, but back-markers hindered any further progress and Smith would once again have to settle for second.


Formula 4 – race 2 (Sunday)

Pos. Boat
Name Nation Qualifying Heat 1
Heat 2
Heat 3
1 69 André SOLVANG NOR 0:41.53 400 400 400 1200
2 9 Harvey SMITH GBR 0:41.27 225 300 300 825
3 40 Dietmar KAISER GER 0:44.71 300 169 225 694
4 5 Mart BOKSLAG NED 0:44.74 169 127 169 465
5 3 Torsten STANGENBERG GER 0:44.04 95 225 127 447
6 38 Cas VAN VEEREN NED 0:44.05 127 95 95 317
7 10 Laura MORGENSTERN GER 0:46.33 71 71 71 213
8 8 Olaf VAN SCHIJNDEL NED 0:46.03 53 53 40 146
9 33 Lukas GUTSCHMIDT GER 0:47.15 40 30 53 123
10 19 Max WINKLER GER 0:45.41 DNF 40 30 70

In his first full season of F4 racing after concentrating on GT30, Solvang was delighted with the weekend’s outcome.


To see Smith in my mirrors all the time was of course a challenge but also fun at the same time. We had some nice battles. He has a bit more top speed than me, so he would close on the straights, and I would have the better acceleration out of the turns. Each lap we had this back-and-forth fight for the victory. There are some extremely fast boats here in Germany, especially in the starts, so we must continue testing and getting more hours in the boat.

For the elated Smith, who now moves onto the opening round of the British National Championship this weekend at Carr Mill near Liverpool it proved to be a fantastic weekend.


We had great battles in every race with experienced drivers and I loved it. Congratulations to André Solvang and his team on his impressive win of the whole weekend. It’s going to be a great season and I look forward to seeing him again at the next race in Bremmen. I have to thank both Georgia and Amber who were my brilliant crew along with my mum on the jetty, her worst nightmare, and of course my dad who looked after my boat.

PRW will be keeping an eye on these two young racers and can’t wait to see who gets the maximum championship points from Bremen in mid-July.

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