Paul Ricard: Volkswagen preview

Volkswagen drivers at season opener with big aims Wolfsburg (09 April 2010). Highly motivated and with big aims the six drivers "powered by Volkswagen" will start into the new Formula 3 Euro Series at Le Castellet this weekend (9-11 April). The...

Volkswagen drivers at season opener with big aims

Wolfsburg (09 April 2010). Highly motivated and with big aims the six drivers "powered by Volkswagen" will start into the new Formula 3 Euro Series at Le Castellet this weekend (9-11 April). The ultra-competitive junior series will be racing on the very fast 5.791-kilometre circuit for the first time. In France the Euro Series will not, as usual, compete as part of the DTM supporting programme but on the race weekend of the Le Mans Series (LMS).

"I look forward to the kick-off for the Formula 3 Euro Series," says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "After a very successful start to the 2010 circuit racing season at the season opener of the British Formula 3 Championship at Oulton Park last weekend where we clinched three victories, we'd definitely like to take this motivation booster with us into the Euro Series. Our two teams, Signature and Motopark Academy, with their three respective drivers did a very good job during the winter and are extremely well prepared to fight for podium positions."

Edoardo Mortara will start into the new season at the Circuit Paul Ricard HTTT at Le Castellet as one of the favourites for the title. The Italian from Team Signature won the legendary Formula 3 Grand Prix at Macau, which is considered the unofficial world championship of the junior class, at the end of 2009, thanks to Volkswagen Power. "This year I want to fight for the championship so it's important to start the new year with good results," says the 23-year-old. "At Le Castellet, I only know part of the track from GP2 testing, the rest I'll have to learn this weekend. One of the special characteristics of this circuit is the long straight which is why we'll be driving with low downforce. There'll probably be a lot of slipstream duels in the race. It's not easy for a driver there to outperform rivals."

Marco Wittmann is the only German in the field of the Europe-wide championship. For the 20-year-old driver from Markt Erlbach, Le Castellet is new territory. "I completed a driver training programme there two years ago, but haven't contested any races yet. I looked at some video footage and we'll also reconnoitre the track on foot with the team. My goal is to finish on the podium," says the Signature driver who is contesting his second Formula 3 season. The Belgian Laurens Vanthoor is the third driver of the French squad. The 18-year-old won the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup with a Volkswagen power-plant and has ascended to the Euro Series this year.

Motopark Academy "powered by Volkswagen" for the first time

As the second team alongside Signature, Volkswagen equips Motopark Academy with two-litre four-cylinder engines with a power output of about 210 hp this year. The squad from Oschersleben contests the Euro Series with three Formula 3 rookies: the Portuguese Antonio Felix da Costa won the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC last year, the Briton Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Matias Laine from Finland are also climbing up from the junior class. Da Costa is eager to tackle his new task. "I've got a very good package for my debut season with Volkswagen and Motopark Academy. This is already my third year of working together with Timo Rumpfkeil's team. We know each other very well. They've got first-rate engineers and mechanics which was obvious even before the start of the season. The track tests always went very well for us, so I'm hoping to clinch a podium straight away at Le Castellet," says the 18-year-old.

-source: vw

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Drivers Kris Nissen , Edoardo Mortara , Adrian Quaife-Hobbs , Marco Wittmann , Laurens Vanthoor , Antonio Felix da Costa , Matias Laine
Teams Volkswagen Motorsport