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Preview: Malja vs Kirchhofer for ADAC Formel Masters glory

by Peter Allen

Photo: adac-formel-masters.de

After a season-long ding-dong, just two points split Gustav Malja and Marvin Kirchhofer as they try to follow in the footsteps of some top talents…

Pascal Wehrlein, Richie Stanaway and Daniel Abt. The last three champions of ADAC Formel Masters, the series set up by the German body to succeed its Formula BMW category that spawned Nico Robserg and Sebastian Vettel amongst others.

This weekend at Hockenheim a new champion will be crowned. Things looked wide-open at the start of the year, but two leading candidates quickly emerged.

He may still only be 16, but Gustav Malja is in his second year in the championship. The Swede took three wins in the middle of the year and although he’s failed to win in the last three rounds, he’s been on the podium in eight of the last nine races. That was until he was stripped of his third in the third and final race last time out at the Nurburgring for ignoring yellow flags. That leaves the Neuhauser Racing driver just two points clear with 65 up for grabs.

Marvin Kirchhofer has been the revelation of the season. At 18 the German is actually two years older than Malja, but more importantly is in his rookie season in cars. He took three wins from the first two weekends to claim an early championship lead and his since added three more victories, although the Lotus driver has been unable to match Malja’s consistency and that’s how he trails, just, coming into the finale. He’ll want a repeat of the Nurburgring, where he considerably boosted his chances with two wins and a second.

Qualifying takes place at 9:40 GMT+2 on Saturday ahead of the races at 14:05 and 17:20 with the third race at 11:15 on Sunday. All three should be steamed live at http://www.adac-formel-masters.de/livestream-adac-formel-masters.html, while you can keep up to date on Twitter through @PaddockScout.