2007 runner-up Vervisch faces a difficult task Frederic Vervisch This weekend, the waiting will finally be over! The ATS Formula 3 Cup is going to contest the first two rounds of its 18-race season at the Hockenheimring. The Jim Clark Revival ...
2007 runner-up Vervisch faces a difficult task Frederic Vervisch
This weekend, the waiting will finally be over! The ATS Formula 3 Cup is going to contest the first two rounds of its 18-race season at the Hockenheimring. The Jim Clark Revival spectators will have the chance of witnessing a interesting mix of Formula 1 cars of the past on the one hand and state-of-the-art Formula 3 racers on the other. Some 30 drivers will battle it for following the footsteps of 2007 ATS Formula 3 Cup Champion Carlo van Dam.
Frederic Vervisch's task will difficult. For his second Formula 3 season, the Belgian has set himself the goal to win the title. "There can't be another goal as I've already achieved anything but winning the championship," he said, thus reminding of the runner-up position he secured in the 2007 ATS Formula 3 Cup season.
Still, realising this goal will be anything but easy for the 21-year old from Kortrijk. And he is fully aware of this fact. In the official tests held on 21st April, contested by 24 drivers, Vervisch had to settle for finishing seventh. "No problem, we tested a lot of things today to optimally prepare for the season kick-off held this weekend," explained the new Swiss Racing team driver.
Still, it's really difficult to identify a favourite for the coming season. There are numerous fast rookies on the grid - and many well-established quick racers, such as Vervisch, Matteo Chinosi (Italy) or Max Nilsson (Sweden). One of the rookies succeeded in already causing a stir in the tests: at the wheel of his Dallara F307 Mercedes entered by Team HS Technik Philipp Eng (1:35.679 minutes) clocked the fastest lap time of the day. In the end, the young Austrian was the only driver to have broken the 1:36-minute barrier.
Two catchwords seem to be of major significance, regarding the forthcoming ATS Formula 3 Cup season: competitive field and variety. The first three positions on the day of testing were secured with three different engines. First place with a Mercedes power unit, second place with a Mugen-Honda engine and third position with Volkswagen power.
And there is the female fraction that has got what it takes to be far more than just a colourful facet of the grid. With Rahel Frey (Switzerland), Karline Stala (Latvia) and Shirley van der Lof (Netherlands) the field features three girls that are not only pretty but fast too. In the Hockenheim tests, all the three succeeded in securing midfield positions.
Altogether, the 2008 ATS Formula 3 Cup season promises to be an extremely thrilling one. And although a clear favourite can't be identified, prior to the first rounds, one thing seems to be clear: the 2008 champion probably won't possess a German passport. After all, the drivers come from 16 nations and just two of them, Marcel Schlenker from Obereschbach and Klaus-Dieter Hackel from Mohnesee, are Germans.