Victory for Volkswagen driver Jean Karl Vernay at season opener Wolfsburg (17 May 2009). First race weekend, first Volkswagen victory: Jean Karl Vernay from the Signature team celebrated his first victory in the Formula 3 Euro Series with ...
Victory for Volkswagen driver Jean Karl Vernay at season opener
Wolfsburg (17 May 2009). First race weekend, first Volkswagen victory: Jean Karl Vernay from the Signature team celebrated his first victory in the Formula 3 Euro Series with Volkswagen at the Hockenheim season opener. After clinching sixth place in Saturday's race, the Frenchman is the overall runner-up, closely followed by his team-mate Mika Maki, who achieved two fourth places at the Hockenheim Motodrom. The newly founded Volkswagen partner team Kolles & Heinz Union delivered a successful maiden run with two eleventh-place finishes by Red Bull Junior Robert Wickens (Canada). The drivers from Carlin Motorsport, Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Jake Rosenzweig (USA), left Hockenheim empty-handed.
In Saturday's race Mika Maki just barely missed the podium: The Finn started from position three on the grid, lost two places in the turbulent starting phase and made up ground again in the 20-lap race. Jean Karl Vernay clinched sixth place and two points, which earned him third place on the grid for the race on Sunday - the starting order for the second race is determined by the reverse results of the first round. Vernay made a perfect start and, before the first turn, took the lead which he defended all the way to the finish line. Maki again lost some positions, but proved his fighting spirit by recovering to fourth again. Up to the finish, he kept putting pressure on Jules Bianchi (France/ART-Mercedes) in front of him, but found no way to pass.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director:
"We're happy with the results of the first race weekend. The updated engine from the Volkswagen Group worked perfectly and proved its competitiveness yet again - as shown, among other things, by Mika Maki's fastest lap on Sunday. Our whole team and the partner teams worked hard to achieve this level. The Signature team and its drivers, who made perfect use of the potential of the Dallara chassis and the Volkswagen engine at the season opener, deserve a special 'well done.'"
#3 - Mika Maki (FIN) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: 3rd place - race 1: 4th place - race 2: 4th place
"On the whole, I'm happy with the first weekend. My lap times were pretty good, perhaps good enough for an even better result. Unfortunately, my race starts didn't go the way I wanted them to so that I lost a few places. On Sunday, I gave everything to clinch third place, but there was just no way to overtake. The key thing is that we've scored our first points. We'll take this momentum to the next round at the EuroSpeedway."
#4 - Jean Karl Vernay (F) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: 9th place - race 1: 6th place - race 2: 1st place
"I'm happy and pleased because my weekend really went well. I scored important points for our big aim: the fight for the championship title. Our package consisting of the Signature team, the Dallara chassis and the Volkswagen engine perfectly fits together. For the race on Sunday I'd been bound and determined to clinch victory. Like on Saturday, I managed a perfect start and immediately took the lead. I was able to increase my distance to my immediate rivals a bit and then concentrated on securing my lead up to the finish line. I was able to fend off Christian Vietoris' attack and after that was in control of the race. I feel extremely comfortable in Formula 3 and really enjoy every race."