2003 Formula 3 Euro Series 11th/12th heat, NÃ¼rburgring Victories for Markus Winkelhock and Christian Klien The MÃ¼cke teamâ€™s Dallara Mercedes drivers Markus Winkelhock and Christian Klien won the 11th and 12th rounds of the 2003 Formula 3 Euro...
2003 Formula 3 Euro Series 11th/12th heat, Nürburgring Victories for Markus Winkelhock and Christian Klien The Mücke team’s Dallara Mercedes drivers Markus Winkelhock and Christian Klien won the 11th and 12th rounds of the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series at the Nürburgring. On Saturday, Winkelhock won ahead of Olivier Pla (Dallara Mercedes (ASM). On Sunday, Klien clinched victory ahead of Winkelhock. For Klien it was the the second win in the championship and his third of the year after he had won the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort one week ago. Klien started from pole position in both races, but was victim of a collision in the first corner on Saturday. In the overall ranking, Klien improved to second place with 49 points behind Ryan Briscoe (Dallara-Opel/67). Pla is third with 44 points, Winkelhock is sixth with 34.
Race 1: Klien and Winkelhock, first and second in qualifying respectively, headed for the first corner side by side. Winkelhock took the lead whilst his team mate was pushed off the track by Nico Rosberg (Dallara-Opel). Also Jan Heylen (Dallara Mercedes, Team Kolles) and four more drivers were involved in the start incident and retired. After a 2-lap Safety Car period, Winkelhock gradually extended his lead ahead of Dallara Mercedes driver Olivier Pla (ASM). When the race was stopped one lap early after another accident on lap 18, Winkelhock won with 4.829 ahead of Pla, both scoring the first 1-2 victory for Mercedes-Benz in Formula 3. Pla’s team mate Alexandre Premat came home fifth. Dallara Mercedes drivers Charles Zwolsman (Kolles) and Spengler (ASM) finished 12th and 16th respectively.
Race 2: Again Klien and Winkelhock started from the first row side by side, and again the German was first in the first corner. Klien passed his team mate in the Mercedes Arena on the first lap and afterwards extended his lead. Rain began to fall on lap 15 causing several cars to slide off the track at the end of the front straight. Klien, too, had a short off. From lap 17, the Safety Car was deployed and the race was stopped two laps later. Klien, however, won ahead of Winkelhock and Rosberg. Spengler finished fourth whilst his ASM team mates Pla and Premat came home ninth and 11th respectively. The Kolles drivers were victims of a first corner incident. Heylen retired again, Zwolsman dropped to the back of the field and finally ended up 13th. Markus Winkelhock (Mücke): “This was the best weekend of my Formula 3 career. The good results meant a lot to me. I hope, that I will be able to finish among the top drivers in the remaining races of the season.”
Christian Klien (Mücke): “Saturday’s experience was not so nice, however, today everything but my start was perfect. The rain caused a critical situation, when there were no flags at the end of the front straight and I had a short off. But I rejoined the race ahead of Markus.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “A great success for Christian Klien, Markus Winkelhock and the Mücke team. Two pole positions for Christian and one win each for both drivers demonstrate that the team is in a good shape. Compliments to Peter Mücke and his team. Unfortunately, Christian was victim of a collision right after the start on Saturday, otherwise his weekend perfomance would have been even better. Position two and three in the championship and eight pole positions out of twelve races so far prove the competitiveness of the M271 F3 engine based on the production engine from the Mercedes-Benz C and E Class.”