Le Mans: Volkswagen preview

Home race for three Volkswagen drivers -- debut for Panciatici Wolfsburg. Triple home race: the Frenchmen Franck Mailleux, Jean Karl Vernay and Nelson Panciatici, who is making his debut, will compete in front of a home audience at the ninth...

Home race for three Volkswagen drivers -- debut for Panciatici

Wolfsburg. Triple home race: the Frenchmen Franck Mailleux, Jean Karl Vernay and Nelson Panciatici, who is making his debut, will compete in front of a home audience at the ninth race weekend of the Formula 3 Euro Series at Le Mans (03 --05 October). The runner-up in the standings, Edoardo Mortara (Italy), and Robert Wickens (Canada) as well as Congfu Cheng (China) and Jens Klingmann (Leimen) are four further drivers to start to the race at the venue near the Sarthe River "powered by Volkswagen".

"Le Mans has a great tradition. Even though the Formula 3 Euro Series does not race on the circuit version used by the 24-Hour Race, the legendary spirit can be felt on the shorter Circuit Bugatti as well," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "For Volkswagen's Formula 3 engine, Le Mans is unknown territory but it has so far proved that it's competitive on new circuits as well. Edoardo Mortara has the chance to continue keeping the decision in the title fight open."

Mailleux and Vernay: the winners of Brands Hatch are highly motivated

Franck Mailleux comes to Le Mans ranking eighth overall. At Brands Hatch, at the end of August, the Frenchman clinched his first victory of the season and for the penultimate race weekend of the Formula 3 Euro Series, he is optimistic as well. "The circuit suits my driving style. A points-finish is always possible. In optimum conditions it could be an even better result," says the 23-year-old. "I live in Rennes, which is only about an hour's drive from Le Mans, so Le Mans is my home circuit. My family and many friends will be at the venue." Mailleux knows what counts on the 4.185-kilometre Circuit Bugatti: "The track has two very long turns right at the beginning. Therefore, you need a set-up that's easy on the tyres. Otherwise, you can quickly develop grip problems." His team-mate Jean Karl Vernay, who is currently ranked tenth of the standings and was the runner-up at Brands Hatch behind Mailleux, is looking forward to the weekend at the venue near the Sarthe River too. "I know Le Mans very well and like the circuit. In 2005, I raced in the French Formula Campus which is based directly at the Circuit Bugatti. I'm optimistic and think that we can clinch a good result," says the 20-year-old junior driver who, like his Signature team-mate Robert Wickens, is sponsored by Red Bull.

French talent, Italian name, Spanish front runner

Although he is at home in France, almost everything is new for him: Nelson Panciatici is making his debut with RC Motorsport at Le Mans. "It's a great opportunity to get to know the Formula 3 Euro Series. This weekend I quickly need to adjust to a new car and a new team. At least, I already know the circuit," says the 20-year-old from Asnières-sur-Seine near Paris. Panciatici has been successfully racing in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship this season, which he is leading after 14 of 18 races.

Le Mans: TV Schedule, Formula 3 Euro Series

Saturday, 4 October
11.40 - 12.45 Premiere Sportportal, Race 1 live
19.00 - 20.00 DSF, Summary

Sunday, 5 October
10.45 - 11.50 Premiere Sportportal, Race 2 live
18.00 - 19.30 DSF, Summary

-credit: vw

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series F3 Europe
Drivers Robert Wickens , Congfu Cheng , Jens Klingmann , Kris Nissen , Franck Mailleux , Edoardo Mortara , Jean-Karl Vernay , Nelson Panciatici
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport